Gantry record in China

11 April 2008

Test lifts have been carried out on what is claimed to be the world's biggest gantry crane at the Yantai Raffles Shipyard (YRS) in China.

The US$40 million Taisun crane, named after a famous mountain in the Shandong Province, has a lifting capacity of 20,000 metric tonnes and, at 122 m, is taller than a soccer football pitch placed lengthways underneath. It will be used to build semi-submersible rigs, jack-up drilling rigs, pipe-laying vessels and luxury yachts, among other vessels.

At the time of writing in early November, Taisun's first beam, measuring 120 m wide, has lifted a test load of 12,600 metric tonnes. The second beam is undergoing similar tests, with the exercise due for completion about mid-November making the crane available for commercial use.

According to YRS there are already 10 major jobs lined up for the Taisun, with lifting requirements ranging from 10,000 to 16,000 tonnes, plus several other smaller projects.

“The successful testing of Taisun will revolutionise the way major offshore projects are built in the future. Instead of small packages, modules and deckboxes will be built to their optimised size before installing. This is expected to save two million man-hours in the building of each semi-submersible rig. The drivers are safety, quality and time, which all equate to cost,” commented Brian Chang, YRS chairman.

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