Felbermayr lifts giant pipes

20 May 2013

The AC1000 works in the Šoštanj power plant in Slovenia

The AC1000 works in the Šoštanj power plant in Slovenia

Crane service provider Felbermayr, has lifted two gigantic pipes inside a cooling tower using a Terex AC 1000. The wheeled mobile telescopic crane is owned by crane rental company Breuer & Wasel.

The pipes were lifted inside the confined area of a cooling tower of the recently built Block 6 unit at the Šoštanj power plant in Slovenia. Due to the constrained space, a 500 tonne assist crane was used with the AC 1000 to carry out the lift.

Speaking on the project, Felbermayr project manager Michael Lehner, said, “One side of the cooling tower had been left open so that the cranes could drive in, but that was the only concession that was given regarding space, the rest had to take place within an extremely limited space.”

The project had to be completed in five working days; this schedule included setting up, performing the lifts and dismantling the cranes.

The crane was assembled, with the boom extended, in just one day. “We configured the AC 1000 with a 42 metre luffing jib, 13 metre outriggers, and a counterweight of 108 tonnes for the lifts,” explained Lehner. “The main boom was set up with a length of 42 metres. Telescopic segments one through three were extended 90% each, while segment four was extended 45%. This set up provided the AC 1000 with a total boom length of 84 metres.”

The first pipe was 40 m long and had a diameter of 8 m. Including rigging gear, the lift weighed 37 tonnes. The pipe was raised 64.5 m over a protruding edge of a height of 56 m. A 500 tonne capacity Liebherr assist crane was used. During the lift, the radius was reduced to 23 m and the pipe was rotated 45 degrees at a hook height of 64.5 m. It was then set down on a concrete pipe at the centre of the cooling tower.

The second pipe to be lifted was 12 m long, had a diameter of 8 m and weighed 25 tonnes. The load was lifted by the AC 1000 at a radius of 23.7 m and at a height of 78 m before it was set down on top of the first pipe.

Challenges during the lift included a five hour lift time, where the crane had to hold the pipe in position for five hours until the adhesive required to join the two pipes was fully cured.

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