Lyons. A “parcel” 8.5 m high and 18 m long will go up the Saône on a barge


A barge with an exceptional load will cross Lyon by the Saône on Tuesday January 31 or Wednesday February 1, depending on navigation conditions. It carries a massive titanium crystallizer more than 8 meters in diameter and 18 meters long, accompanied by two slightly smaller packages, 5.5 meters and 7.5 meters high.

Designed by France Évaporation, an engineering group of seventy people based in the North, in Noyelles-lès-Seclin, and specialized in evaporation and crystallization processes, it is intended for a large chemical group. Its manufacture has been subcontracted to the French group Mersen, in its workshop in China.

This French-designed equipment is intended for the production of sodium chloride for the manufacture of chlorine and soda. It must replace a steam-powered crystallizer, which has a very large carbon footprint, which will enable the site to reduce its primary energy consumption by 212 GWh, and its CO2 emissions by 60,000 tonnes per year.

The tricky crossing of the Kitchener Bridge

Leaving in early December from Shanghai, the crystallizer arrived this week in Fos-sur-Mer, from where it left this Saturday afternoon by river. It must go up the Rhône, then the Saône, to Chalon-sur-Saône (Saône-et-Loire).


Even if it is transported lying down, its exceptional dimensions make it difficult to transport, carried out by the DT Project group, a specialist in the logistics of “oversize” equipment.

In the crossing of Lyon, where he is expected on Tuesday, he will have to pass under several bridges and one of them, the Kitchener bridge has only 6 meters of free height under the structure. If the level of the Saône remains stable, 1,300 tonnes of ballast will have to be ballasted to “sink” the barge into the Saône, and thus pass under the bridge, with a margin of only 10 to 30 cm.

The aircraft will then continue their river journey to Chalon, then they will be transported by land to their final destination. The convoy, carried out by the Cayon group and accompanied by the police, Enedis and Orange, will also be extraordinary, since more than 400 cables (fiber, power line) will have to be moved to allow its passage.

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