60-ton giant load spotted on Black Country roads heading for oil refinery
It looked like a space ship or shiny airship as it took to the roads of the Black Country.
But this giant load weighing 60 tons was instead heading north to an oil refinery.
The oil separation vessel has been manufactured at European Heathyards, in Maybrook Road, Brownhills, which specialises in high integrity fabrication, welding and tube manipulation.
The vessel made from high strength steel is 16 metres long and five metres wide and high and is the largest individual product that the firm has even built.
It is being transported by road to Essar Oil UK's Stanlow Refinery at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.
Director manufacturing Dave Silvester said: "Quite a few people turned out to see it leave.
"It is covered with 4in of insulation and clad in stainless steel. It looks like a huge shiny Zeppelin or space ship."
Several people posted on social media as it made its way through Brownhills High Street to the A5 and then on via the M6 and M56.
"We are expecting it to arrive at the refinery before dark," said Mr Silvester.
The project was worth a six-figure sum to the company, which currently employs 75.
It won the order in May last year and after design work it took 16 weeks to make.
European Heathyards has bought land adjoining its site for expansion and work has just started on an extension that will double the floor area and add a paint shop and other new facilities.
Mr Silvester said the expansion was likely to see a 20 to 25 per cent increase in the workforce.
"We are hoping to win more orders on the back of this project. We are already quoting for a similar-sized vessel for a customer in Southampton," added Mr Silvester.