First Manitowoc Model 21000 to Australia

01 December 2009

A Manitowoc Model 21000 at work in the USA

A Manitowoc Model 21000 at work in the USA

A 907 tonne capacity Manitowoc Model 21000 crawler crane has been bought for Australia's largest ship building project.

The AU$8 billion ($7.4 billion) Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance (AWD) joint venture will use the crane for assembly work in construction of three advanced warships for the Royal Australian Navy.

In the ASC shipyard close to Adelaide the crane will lift the 250 tonne prefabricated blocks at the joining stage to assemble the 6,250 tonne AWDs.

Commenting on the acquisition, John Gallacher, AWD chief executive officer, said, "At the shipyard at Osborne in South Australia, we have let a contract worth about $14 million [US$12.9 million] for the provision of what will be Australia's biggest heavy lift crane. In many ways the heavy lift crane is an example of the size of the project as a whole."

The joint venture includes ASC as the shipbuilder, Raytheon Australia as the combat system supplier and the Defense Material Organization to handle defence matters.

The ships will be 146 m long and 18 m tall so reach and capacity were key considerations when selecting the crane for the shipyard, said John Stewart, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Manitowoc in Asia-Pacific.

"When using modular construction in shipbuilding, gantry cranes are often preferred," Stewart continued.

"However, ASC liked the fact that the Model 21000 gives the company more options. It can handle its core duties, but also offers the ability to handle maintenance work or other general lifting duties."

Another feature useful for ASC is the Model 21000's Octa-trac design of four pairs of crawler tracks.

Advantages cited by Manitowoc include precise manoeuvrability, even when moving under full load, and lower ground bearing pressure than traditional crawler cranes.

The order includes 85.3 m of heavy lift boom and a Max-er lift-enhancing attachment. Delivery of the crane is due in the fourth quarter of 2010 and it is a five year project.

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