Saipem giant installs Kobelco crawler
By Euan Youdale10 May 2010
Oil and gas contractor Saipem took delivery of a customised 135 tonne capacity Kobelco CKE1350 crawler crane to work on its semi-submersible heavy lift vessel, Saipem 7000.
The vessel boasts a pair of fixed cranes on the upper deck, each with a 7,000 tonne lifting capacity. It is capable of laying pipes to depths greater than 2,000 m and is now working in the North Sea between the UK and continental Europe, decommissioning a platform in the Frigg oil field.
Working alongside the twin cranes will be the CKE1350, configured with 48.8 m main boom. It will serve as an assist crane for the handling of smaller components and have the advantage of being able to travel on deck.
Rene Kraakman, Kobelco Cranes Europe service manager, supervised the installation of the CKE1350 in bad weather and provided on-board training for the crane. "You have to experience the weather conditions, like 6 m high waves and strong winds, to realise their severity, and the importance of having appropriate, reliable machinery which can function efficiently," Kraakman explained.
The Kobelco CKE1350 was equipped with a range of custom features to make it suitable for specialised offshore operations, including:
- Main boom supplied with a special short jib capable of using up to 3 hooks at the same time: main hook, auxiliary hook and a hook for man-riding only
- Third drum with high-speed for man-riding operations. The man-basket must be lifted clear from the deck of another vessel before the next wave lifts the vessel
- Emergency electric back-up system in case of failure of diesel engine, which is compulsory for man-riding
- Special epoxy paint for extra protection against corrosion when working at sea
- Wind speed meter and aircraft warning light
- 4 lifting points on carbody for lifting complete crane with 48.8m boom and an operating weight of about 140 tonne
*See the energy and petrochemical feature appearing in the May issue of IC for more information on this subject.