171-ton steam turbine made by Elliott Group to move through Donora

Renatta Signorini
Trib Live

An enormous steam turbine will take to the streets of Donora on Friday and Saturday in a move that will involve the closing of several roads, moving of utilities and a police escort, according to officials from Elliott Group.

The 171-ton turbine will be shipped from Elliott’s Donora Service Center to a petrochemical facility in Monaca along the Ohio River, first by a specialized platform trailer and ending with a barge in the Monongahela River. The two-day process will begin Friday morning and end Saturday when a crane will lift the massive turbine onto a barge, according to Christy Bash, corporate communications manager.

It’s the largest steam turbine Elliott has ever manufactured, Bash said in a news release. The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Jeannette.

The turbine will depart from Scott Street Extension at 9 a.m. Friday on a 20-axle, 62-foot-long trailer that will be controlled remotely to keep the load level as the trailer travels 2 miles through town.

Some roads will be temporarily closed by state police and power and utility lines will be moved, Bash said. The route will be: Scott Street Extension to Scott Street, Gilmore Avenue, Spragg Avenue, Meldon Avenue and ending at the Donora dock.

J. Supor & Son Trucking & Rigging Co., based in New Jersey, will handle transport logistics.

On Saturday at 7 a.m., a crane will load the turbine at a dock along the Monongahela River onto a barge before traveling downriver to its destination.

The turbine will power a cracked gas compressor train at the Monaca facility. Bash declined to elaborate on any details about that facility.

Construction is underway at a Shell cracker plant in Monaca. It is expected to open in the next few years.

“We routinely ship oversize loads that present logistical challenges but it doesn’t often happen that we have to move utilities or make special arrangements for the weight,” Bash said in an email.

A $1.2 million upgrade to toll booths at Amos K. Hutchinson Bypass finished last year made it easier for trucks moving those gigantic items from Elliott’s Jeanette facility. The modifications were funded by the state.

In 2015, the company moved three large compressors from the Jeannette facility to a rail spur about a mile away. Fourth Street was closed overnight and a temporary bridge was built over a creek to handle the weight — two compressors were 380,000 pounds and the third weighed 243,000 pounds. They were sent to a chemical plant in the South.

After a 2017 fire at a refinery in the Middle East damaged equipment Elliott manufactured in 2011, company officials built four lubrication skids at its Belle Vernon operation. Four replacement compressors were built at an Elliott plant in Japan. All of the items were transported by large cargo plane, first picking up the items in Japan and then in New York, Bash said.