28 February 2008

The first of two Kobelco SL6000 crawler cranes, ordered by heavy lift specialist Weldex, in Scotland, has carried out its first lifting duty.

The work involved placing a turbine blade assembly and nacelle for a 5 MW wind turbine. The project is part of a trial wind farm being built on the site of a working oil rig in the Beatrice Oil Field, 25 km off the north coast of Scotland.

The SL6000 was rigged with 48 m main boom and 30 m luffing jib to lift the complete 128 tonne hub and three-blade assemblies to a height of 65 m – the height of the main generator mounting flange. Each blade is more than 61 m long and weighs 20 tonnes, with a swept diameter of 126 m. The complete unit weighs 468 tonnes and is the largest offshore generator in the world, according to Kobelco.

Weldex's initial contract is to erect two units at the REpower site. If the first two units prove satisfactory over a two-year trial period, it could lead to some 200 similar units being installed there, the company says.

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