The first Grove GTK1100 in Asia at work on a wind farm installation in Inner Mongolia, China

The first Grove GTK1100 in Asia at work on a wind farm installation in Inner Mongolia, China

The first Grove GTK1100 crane to arrive in Asia has completed its first tasks, helping to build major wind farm installations in Inner Mongolia, China.

Manitowoc delivered the GTK to China Power Equipment Installation Engineering Co. Ltd. (CPIE) at the end of June 2009, accompanied by two of the company's most experienced service personnel. The crane's first job was to install two Shengguotongyuan 1.5 MW windmills with 77.5 m towers and turbines weighing 75 tonnes in Ganqika, Inner Mongolia.

The GTK then travelled to the Zhurihe CHNG Wind Farm in late October, 100 km from Tong Liao City, where CPIE was contracted to install 90 wind turbines in a three-phase program, which was completed at the end of 2009.

Phase I of the project, which ran from July to September, involved the GTK1100 and a number Grove GMK7450 all-terrain cranes. they installed 33 wind turbines with capacities of 1.5 MW. An additional 33 windmills of 1.5 MW capacity were installed in Phase II. All the turbines weighed 60 tonnes and had tower heights of 70 m. Phase III, which started in late October, required the installation of 24 windmills with a 2 MW capacity.

Zhurihe Wind Farm is situated in an area that used to be a grassland tourist attraction but is now turning to desert because of drought, soil erosion and water loss.

Zhu Jingcheng, CPIE chairman said transporting the 140m tall crane was a surprisingly easy process, despite the desert conditions. "The main roads are flat, straight and well-prepared, so that wasn't a problem. But around the windmills' foundations there were piles of loose soil, which means heavier cranes could not setup nearby. Because the GTK1100 is relatively lightweight, we did not have any difficulties with setup. We were also able to drive the GTK1100 with the superstructure attached, reducing our transport convoy, which made things cheaper and faster for us."

CPIE is the first company to transport the GTK with its superstructure attached, says Manitowoc. Travelling in this configuration also means a smaller assist crane can be used as the maximum load is 17.5 tonnes for the GTK1100's outriggers.

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