Early on 19 December 2014, the vessel CMA CGM IVANHOE, loaded with some 10,000 containers, was pulled in by the small but powerful pilot boats and finally made fast at the Eurofos docks in Marseille’s industrial harbour at Fos-sur-Mer.
One month before, the vessel had left the Hyundai docks in Ulsan, Korea with precious cargo on board—the first of four high voltage transformers for ITER’s steady state electrical network.
Part of the US’s 75 percent contribution to ITER’s steady state electrical network, the transformers serve to connect the AC electrical distribution system to the 400kV grid operated by Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE). They are being supplied under contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries, LLC in Korea.
In order to protect the component during its journey across the South China Sea, around the Cape of Good Hope and into Mediterranean waters, the transformer had been lashed down in one of the centre hatches where the ship’s movement is weakest. It thus took a while for the transformer to emerge during unloading in Fos-sur-Mer. The 87-ton transformer was lifted out of its 'cabin’ by gantry crane and loaded onto a waiting truck equipped with cantilever beams to secure the massive load.
The freight will remain in storage until 12 January 2015, when this first exceptional ITER convoy will slowly make its way along the ITER Itinerary towards the ITER site located some 100 kilometres to the north.