23 Potain luffers, including two MD 1600s, are helping to construct the Xayaburi dam in Laos, Thaila

23 Potain luffers, including two MD 1600s, are helping to construct the Xayaburi dam in Laos, Thailand

Thailand-based contractor CH. Karnchang PCL is using 23 Potain tower cranes for the construction of the Xayaburi dam in Laos, Thailand – one of the largest groups of Potain cranes at work in Asia, the company said.

The eight year project is entering its second phase and the cranes are expected to stay on site for another three or four years as the project builds towards its 2020 activation date.

Two Potain MD 1600 cranes are playing the lead role in the enormous concrete pouring operation. The cranes have been configured with 80 metres of jib and have a maximum rated capacity of 64 tonnes.

Roller compacted concrete (RCC) is poured by the cranes at rates of up to 250 metres squared (m3) per hour and the MD 1600 cranes are working with Potain’s top-belt concrete placing system. The top-belt system acts as a concrete conveyor belt that extends 25 m beyond the jib, enabling each crane to pour up to 600 tonnes of concrete per hour at a radius of up to 105 m.

The Potain cranes were supplied to the CH. Karnchang by S.B. Siam, the exclusive dealer for the cranes in Thailand.

Thamnoon Surarat, project manager at CH. Karnchang PCL, said “Potain provided the best solution for us, and the company’s Lift Solutions department has a wealth of experience in successful dam construction that has given us confidence that our own project will be a success. The Lift Solutions department and S.B. Siam worked closely with us to design, implement and maintain a unique set-up that is working consistently in harsh and humid conditions to tight deadlines and a demanding work schedule. Everything is on track and we are delighted with the cranes.”

Alongside the two MD 1600 cranes are a mix of 21 other Potain cranes, all built at the Manitowoc factory in nearby Zhangjiagang, China. The two 1600s were built at the Manitowoc factories in Moulins and Charlieu, France. The cranes are strategically positioned to give every square metre of the job site at least 3 tonnes of lifting capacity, the company said.

The site has 11 MC 310K12 towers. These units have a 12 tonne maximum capacity and are fitted with jib lengths ranging from 50 to 70 m, with working heights ranging from 50 to 100 m. Alongside these cranes are four MCT 385 units, which have a maximum capacity of 14 tonnes and have been configured with jib lengths of 75 m. They are working at heights that range from 50 to 135 m. There are also two MC 205B units, which have a maximum capacity of 10 tonnes. They are working with jibs of 50 m and at a height of 35 m.

From the luffing jib range of cranes there are four of the MCR 225A models, which also have a 14 tonne maximum capacity. These cranes are fitted with jibs of 55 m, while their working heights range from 40 to 100 m.

All the MC, MCT and MCR cranes are used for general lifting duties, as well as for pouring Conventional vibrated concrete (CVC).

With phase one of the project now complete, phase two has started including construction of the dam’s powerhouse. The 820 m long Xayaburi dam will be 150 m wide and 35 m high on completion. It is situated 100 kilometres downstream of Luang Prabang in Laos and owned by the Xayaburi Power Company. It will produce some 7,400 gigawatt hour (GWh) annually and the power will be supplied to both Laos and Thailand.

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