ALE’s AL.SK190 super heavy lifter making one of the 25 lifts on the Thai Growth Project in Map Ta Ph

ALE’s AL.SK190 super heavy lifter making one of the 25 lifts on the Thai Growth Project in Map Ta Phut, Thailand

Heavy lifting and transport specialist ALE completed a series of lifts up to 813 tonnes on the Thai Growth Project in Map Ta Phut, Thailand. In 22 days, 25 items were transported, lifted and installed. The smallest load was 73 tonnes.

ALE used its award-winning AL.SK190 super heavy lifter, which received the Innovation and Development Award at the 2010 ESTA Awards of Excellence in Munich, Germany in 2010. The 4,300 tonne capacity giant has a maximum load moment rating of 190,000 tonne-metres, a 141 metre boom and variable ballast radius.

The Thai Growth Project originally specified a large crawler crane from three positions, with the lifts taking place over three months. Using the AL.SK190 instead, however, reduced the time to less than a month and saved money for the client.

The AL.SK190 had sufficient outreach to make all the lifts from one position. It avoided the expense and time of de-rigging, re-rigging and re-locating the crane. Columns were lifted over the new structure, which allowed other structures and pipe racks to be installed ahead of schedule. Ground bearing pressures of 25 tonnes per square metre under the mast foot and 20 tonnes per square metre under the ballast required only minimal ground preparation, ALE says.

Load list

The 25 items lifted weighed a combined total of 4,230 tonnes. Major loads included the following:

An 85 m long by 8 m diameter column with a total lift weight of 850 tonnes. Installation radius was 114.4 m.

A 75 m long by 8 m diameter column with a total lift weight around 700 tonnes. Installation radius was 70.6 m.

A 50 m long by 6 m diameter column with a total lift weight of 250 tonnes. Installation radius was 110 m.

"The 28-day lift schedule was considered aggressive, but we were able to safely install all items six days ahead of schedule due to good planning and teamwork. The AL.SK190's 600 tonne quick winch system enabled the majority of the lifts to be carried out over timescales similar to large crawler cranes. The strand lift system enabled us to do some heavy lifts at significant radii, such as the 850 tonne column at a 114.4 m radius. As a result, the new process structures could be erected well ahead of what would be expected in a normal construction schedule. Its success was a real team effort by everyone involved," comments Michael Birch, ALE Projects executive director.

Described by the client's construction manager as a 'flawless execution', the project also made use of the AL.SK190's Quick Winch system. "The AL.SK190 operates with two hook blocks. The main block is used for ultra-heavy loads up to 5,000 tonnes, whilst the auxiliary block can be used as a 'quick winch' for installing loads of up to 600 tonnes over 160 m radius. This capability makes it incredibly cost effective for projects across offshore, petrochemical, power and civil markets, where multiple items of varying loads need to be lifted and relocated from one position," explains Ronald Hoefmans, ALE executive director.

Depending on reeving, the block speed can be up to 750 m per hour. The winches each carry 2,500 m of cable. It allows the fully reeved hook block to reach the ground with up to 200 m of main boom.

"Looking at the plans the competition has on the drawing board for their new cranes it looks like the AL.SK190, with its extraordinary lifting capacity, is going to remain the strongest land-based crane in the world for years to come," Hoefmans added.

ALE claims the Quick Winch system offers a range of benefits. On, for example, an offshore project, loads such as process modules can be assembled on the quayside using the Quick Winch. When the module has been assembled to a weight of 600 up to 5,000 tonnes, it can be lifted in one piece using the main hoist onto a FPSO vessel. The reach of the AL.SK190 and its design where it slews around the ballast, allows the FPSO vessel to remain in one position during assembly, ALE says.

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