news overview
04. 2013

Turbine power on a heavy duty shuttle barge: “Power from Berlin” to the whole world with Goldhofer PST/SL modules

By ship from the Siemens gas turbine plant in Berlin Moabit to the Westhafen as the gateway to the world: The heavy duty shuttle barge, part of an award-winning logistics project developed by Berliner Hafen- und Lagerhausgesellschaft mbH (BEHALA), has become a win-win solution for all concerned within just a few months of the project launch. With the help of the Ursus ro-ro barge and Goldhofer’s PST/SL 12 (1+1) heavy-duty module system, BEHALA has already shipped a dozen Siemens gas turbines to Asia, the USA and European countries.

The world’s biggest and most powerful turbine, the SGT5-8000H, weighs in at no less than 440 tons. That and all the other Siemens gas turbines are not transported by road to the Westhafen’s heavy duty intermodal terminal but by ship via the Charlottenburg Canal.

For Siemens AG, the new transport system has the very significant advantage that the turbines can now leave its plant during the day. As the loading ramp on the  Charlottenburg Canal is so close, the road only has to be closed to traffic for a short period. Previously, when the turbines went all the way to the Westhafen by road, only night-time operations were permitted because the roads had to be closed for much longer.

In any case, with a 440 ton payload, the Siemens SGT5-8000H could not be transported by road from the company’s production plant in the Moabit district of Berlin to the intermodal terminal at the Westhafen because of weight limits on the bridges and tunnels. So BEHALA and Siemens were forced to find an alternative solution. The result was the development of a groundbreaking concept developed in collaboration with Berlin Technical University using a ro-ro barge. This impressive research project won the 2012 Berlin Logistics Award and has since provided hassle-free operation in practice.

“The complete process is running really smoothly; everything has worked out just as we wanted. Now we can use our heavy-duty shuttle for other loads, too,” says a delighted  Klaus Günter Lichtfuss, Logistics Manager at BEHALA. The transport specialist benefits in particular from the flexibility of Goldhofer’s PST/SL heavy-duty module system with its muscular hydrostatic drive. The 360kw/490PS power pack ensures infinitely variable and smooth handling of the heaviest loads even under the most demanding conditions.

Depending on the payload, BEHALA deploys the PST/SL modules from the Bavarian  quality heavy-duty vehicle manufacturer in a combination with twelve or eighteen axles. “For operations within the port, we employ two PST/SL modules in a twelve-axle side-by-side combination. For ro-ro working and on the Ursus we use them as a twelve-axle combination coupled end-to-end. For loads in excess of 300 tons, we add a third module on land for a total of eighteen axles,” Lichtfuss explains.

In addition to the quality and equipment of the modules, BEHALA is also enthusiastic about the expertise of Goldhofer’s personnel. “We took six of our men on a two-week training course to Memmingen, and that was a big success. Also, if ever we run into difficulties with a job, a quick telephone call to the specialists in Memmingen is all it takes to find the best solution,” says Lichtfuss.

Goldhofer is naturally pleased to get positive feedback from a new customer. “We feel honored by the trust that BEHALA places in us. That makes it all the more important for us  to ensure that Goldhofer’s proverbial competence makes all the difference with such a prestigious project and that, at the end of the day, we have a satisfied customer,” says Horst Häfele, Goldhofer Sales Director Heavy Duty Modules.

The working day of the heavy-duty shuttle barge

At 6 a.m. the Ursus leaves the Westhafen with the Goldhofer PST/SL 12 (1+1) on board and sails to the ro-ro loading ramp on the Charlottenburg Canal. There the police are waiting to escort the self-propelled heavy-duty module to the Siemens gas turbine production plant. At 12 noon, the PST/SL sets off for the return journey to the ramp with the SGT5-8000H and is driven onto the Ursus. At about 3 p.m. the shuttle barge reaches Berlin’s Westhafen and ties up at the quay with the heavy-duty crane. The turbine is then lifted onto a barge for the next leg of the journey to Hamburg’s sea port.


This is the first time BEHALA has placed its trust in Goldhofer equipment for use with its heavy-cargo shuttle. BEHALA is one of the biggest logistics service providers in the Berlin/Brandenburg region. The company’s goal is to continually develop shuttle traffic by barge in the region. BEHALA offers transport and transshipment solutions for inner urban heavy goods traffic with unit weights of over 350 tonnes and is promoting the development of scheduled water transport services involving the heavy-cargo transshipment point at Berlin’s Westhafen.

The SGT5-8000H

The Siemens SGT5-8000H gas turbine is currently the most powerful, efficient and eco-friendly gas turbine in the world, with a power output of 375 MW. In combination with a steam turbine, it achieves a world-beating thermal efficiency of over 60%. Following successful trials at the Ulrich Hartmann gas and steam turbine plant in Irsching, Bavaria, the turbine is now in series production and several have already been shipped to the  European, Asian and US markets.

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