ALE's AL.SK350 super heavy lifter has a load moment of 354,000 tonne-metres and a capacity of 5,000

ALE's AL.SK350 super heavy lifter has a load moment of 354,000 tonne-metres and a capacity of 5,000 tonnes. It will be built to start work in Brazil in mid-2013

International heavy lift and transport company ALE will build the 5,000 tonne capacity (354,000 tonne-metre) AL.SK350 super heavy lifter.

The UK-based company said it will be the world's highest capacity land-based crane, claiming its load moment is 77% higher than its nearest rival.

It will be built by adding extra structural sections to the company's existing 4,300 tonne (190,000 tonne-metre) AL.SK190.

The main hoist is by strand jacks and it will also have a 2,000 tonne winch for lighter loads. Its main boom will be 141.2 metres and a fixed 120 m jib will be available.

"We are pleased to confirm that we are currently in the fabrication stages of building the AL.SK350. We are always striving to keep innovation at the forefront of what we do, and continually creating new concepts to push the boundaries in the heavy lift market.

"Innovation is one of the company's core values, and we are pleased to see yet another concept from the drawing boards of our R&D facility, being built to offer solutions in the industry," said Ronald Hoefmans, ALE group technical director.

Starting in mid-2013 it will go to work on a long-term contract at the OSX Shipbuilding Unit, the largest shipyard in the Americas, in Açu, Brazil. It will install modules onto the hulls of FPSOs.

OSX said it chose the AL.SK350 because it was the only crane capable of installing fully assembled modules from one location, without having to rotate the hull or relocate the crane.

Michael Birch, ALE regional director, said, "We are very pleased to be able to support OSX in their new shipyard facility. We understand that OSX undertook a detailed technical evaluation of lifting options, not only floating cranes but also heavy lift cranes from mainstream manufacturers and other heavy lift companies.

"We are proud that after such a process OSX selected ALE and identified the SK350 as the best technical solution for their heavy lifting requirements in what is planned to be the largest and most technically advanced shipyard in South America."

ALE has two of the smaller AL.SK190 models, launched in 2008, that have been working around the world. On the Thai growth project in Thailand the AL.SK190 completed all lifts in a third of the time required by any other crane, ALE said.

At the Valero Port Arthur project in the USA it made the first lift of a complete six coke drum derrick assembly weighing 1,600 tonnes.

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