Five gargantuan pieces of Geneva Steel's two Q-BOP furnaces arrived at the plant Sunday after a 3,400 mile jagged journey from Chicago.
Four bowl-shaped pieces, each weighing between 50 and 55 tons, and one cylindrical piece of the basic oxygen process units were floated down the Mississippi River from Chicago to Victoria, Texas, then loaded on semitrailer trucks owned by Rigging and Construction Specialists for the trip to Vineyard.Along the way, sections of roads were closed while the 28 1/2-feet-wide sections of machinery traveled through parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
Across the side of one bowl-shaped segment of a Q-BOP someone scrawled "Texas Chili Bowl" - a fitting tribute to the size of the equipment and perhaps the appetites of Texans.
The Utah Transportation Commission granted permission for the wide loads to travel through the state because of the "ability of the new equipment to reduce air emissions caused by steel production," according to Commission chairman Samuel J. Taylor. The commission approves wide-load transportation requests on a case-by-case basis.
The middle sections of the Q-BOPs - which are even bigger - will be brought to Utah in the next two or three weeks, said Max Sorenson, vice president of engineering.
It will take one year for the Q-BOPs, which will replace open hearths at the plant, to be refurbished, put back together and started up.Geneva bought the Q-BOPs from the now defunct LTV Republic South Chicago Works. They were used at the plant from 1977 to 1985.
Q-BOPs are considered state-of-the-art technology, according to Geneva President Joe Cannon, who was on hand to watch the equipment arrive at his mill.
By purchasing used Q-BOPs, Geneva will be able to convert to the system one year sooner than if the company had ordered new equipment, Cannon said.
Cannon said the Q-BOPs, along with installation of a gas sulfur removal system, will contribute "the lion's share" of a 57 percent reduction in plant emissions.