Melbourne Convention Centre under way

15 April 2008

Components of Australia's largest tower crane, a Potain MD2200, awaiting erection in Melbourne

Components of Australia's largest tower crane, a Potain MD2200, awaiting erection in Melbourne

Excitement is building on the southern banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia, as the excavators roll out and the cranes move in, writes Brent Stacey. The ConventionCentre Project and the adjacent South Wharf Project are well advanced with construction.

The new 5,000 seat Convention Centre under construction already has more than 20 bookingsonce construction is complete by 2009.

Six tower cranes will be used on the Convention Centre component and the adjacent siteis being constructed by Contexx, which will use at least four cranes. Total value of the complete project is in the order of AUD$ 1 billion (US$ 814 million).

The third Comedil CTT561-24 tower crane on the eastern side of the site has just been erected by Australia's largest tower crane hirer, Verticon Cranes and Hoists. Another seven crane erections are scheduled for the remainder of 2007.

The talking point of the Australian tower crane industry is the new Potain MD2200, scheduled for erection in late March. The big Potain has a capacity of 23 tonnes at 80 m and is described as a perfect choice of crane for the job by Rob Lockett, managing director of Verticon Cranes.

“The site is such a large site, and the Potain is an excellent lifter with the ability to cover such large area with plenty of capacity,”Lockett said. With a site coverage of more than 2 hectares, the Potain will be the largest tower crane ever to be erected in Australia.

Assembly of the components that make up the big Potain was well underway in mid-March. The pedestal weighs 28,700 kg, and each piece is neatly stored as it is unpacked from containers, keeping Mick Martin, Verticon area manager and his team of riggers very busy.

Verticon is supplying 10 cranes in total, five of which are hammerheads. It is also supplying a 200 tonne IHI crawler as the erection crane. This was a recent acquisition that came from the merger of Verticon and Daniel Smith Industries in NewZealand. There will also be five luffing jib tower cranes on site.

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