Giant Naphtha Splitter Tower To Be Moved Through Tulsa


Friday, May 6th 2016, 4:16 pm
By: Richard Clark


A Mississippi company plans to transport a huge piece of machinery through Tulsa to the refinery on Saturday.

It's called a naphtha splitter tower and it was built by Fabwell Custom Pressure Vessels in Tulsa.

Burkhalter Rigging plans to transport the huge device from Fabwell's facility at 8420 South Regency Drive in Tulsa to the HollyFrontier refinery.

The move is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, 2016 and the company expects it to take until early evening.

The tower itself is almost 215 feet long, but the total transport configuration is 381 feet long, 18 feet wide, nearly 22 feet tall and weighs more than 860,000 pounds.

When the load leaves Fabwell's facility at 8420 South Regency Drive, it will follow this route:

-west on West 81st
-south on Frankoma Road
-west on Highway 166
-north on Highway 97
-east on 41st Street
-north on Southwest Boulevard

The location where it was built is only about six miles from the refinery, but the route it will take is about 20 miles long in order to avoid as many obstacles as possible. 

Burkhalter will use special dual-lane transporters to haul the load over the road. Once it gets the splitter to the refinery, it will move the device to self-propelled modular transporters via a 500-ton hydraulic gantry system in order to maneuver it through the refinery to the final location.

Later this month, Burkhalter will use a 2,000-ton capacity Liebherr LR 11350 crane to stand up the tower and set in place.

Burkhalter is working closely with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the cities of Tulsa and Sand Springs, Creek and Tulsa counties, state and local police, as well as five local utility companies and BNSF Railroad to get the load through the 20-mile route.

The set-up is not quite as big as what many believe the largest load ever moved overland in Oklahoma, which was a demethanizer that went from Broken Arrow to Colorado in October of 2014. That move was handled by a different company.

In that move, the rig was 427 feet long and weighed more than 1.1 million pounds.

10/18/2014: Related Story: Huge Demethanizer Transport Makes Its Way Through Oklahoma

Burkhalter is based in Columbus, Mississippi and serves the petrochemical, power, civil and offshore and marine industries in North and South America. 

Betsy Galloway, Burkhalter Rigging Marketing Manager, says the best place for citizens to see or photograph the move will likely be on Highway 97.