Mobile cranes offer flexibility at steel mill

By Richard High15 July 2009

Over 20 Liebherr cranes are helping construct one of Brazil’s largest construction project, the US$

Over 20 Liebherr cranes are helping construct one of Brazil’s largest construction project, the US$ 6.26 Thyssen Krupp CSA Siderúrgica do Atlantico steel mill, in Sepetiba, Santa Cruz.

With more than 20 Liebherr telescopic mobile and crawler cranes operating on Brazil's largest construction project, Thyssen Krupp's US$ 6.3 billion CSA Siderúrgica do Atlantico steel mill, it is becoming a ‘who's who' of the country's crane rental business, offering "total flexibility of movement around the site".

The steel mill complex is being constructed on a 9 km2 site in the bay of Sepetiba in Santa Cruz, some 60 km south west of Rio do Janeiro. It is the first new steel mill to be built in Brazil since 1985 and has been designed to produce 5 millin tonnes of premium flat rolled carbon steel.

Bordered by tidal water courses on either side, the virtually rectangular site has a coastal frontage of 1.2 km, widening to 2.3 km some 5.5 km inland.

The new mill is being constructed as a continuous line process from the recently completed port and, being a new plant on a ‘green field' site, meant the opportunity was taken to optimise logistics and production flow; while adhering to strict environmental considerations.

The project includes construction of a 3.8 km long jetty and a 700 m pier with two berths for delivery of raw materials and shipment of finished steel products.

When fully operational by the end of 2009, the mill will be sending all its produced slabs to Thyssen Krupp Steels' operations overseas; representing a volume sufficient to raise Brazilian exports of steel by +40%.


Owned 90% by Germany's Thyssen Krupp Steel and 10% by Brazil's Vale the steel mill is the culmination of "a long business partnership and was a natural extension bearing in mind the operation is in Brazil," according to a spokesman.

Rather than appoint a main contractor and project management team, Thyssen Krupp opted to oversee the project and appoint a team of contractors for each key element.

These include:

Blast furnaces: Paul Wirth (Luxemburg)

Steel plant: Siemens and Vai (Austria)

Sinter plant: Outo Tech (Finland)

Coking plant: Citec (China)

Port: a joint venture of Brazilian contractors

The project is based on the recently completed 5 million tonnes steel mill in Duisburg, Germany and is seen as a ‘transfer of new technology'. The tallest structures on the project are the 80 m-high twin blast furnaces. Alongside each furnace is a battery of cowpers, each comprising three 30 m-high wind heated towers.

Erection of the furnaces and cowpers is now the centre of the construction activity on-site, with the 20 Liebherr cranes playing a significant role of a tight, cramped site. At present a Liebherr telescopic LTM 1500-8.1 mobile crane from crane rental company Zandona is assisting in the erection of the 200 m long elevator from the sinter plant to the top of the furnaces.

Two LTM 1055-3.2's from Locar Rental are lifting elements of the exhaust stacks around the base of the furnace, while another two Locar units - an LR 1800 crawler crane and a LTM 122 5.2 mobile crane - are lifting elements weighing up to 800 tonnes. Locar also has a newly delivered 750 tonne capacity LR 1750 operating in luffing jib mode at the project.

An LTM 1400 7.1 operating with a luffing jib, super lift and counter weights configuration allows lifts to its maximum 400 tonne capacity and is on rental from IVT. Alongside, a second crane from the Sao Paulo-based rental company is a standard telescopic LTM 1200-1 mobile crane offering a 200 tonne lifting capacity.

Also working on the blast furnace is an LTM 1500-8.1 delivered to Locar late last year. Featuring a 500 tonne lifting capacity, the 8 axle mobile crane has a telescopic boom of 84 m and luffing jig with a maximum length of 91 m and a 9.9 tonne lift at the jib end.

With the project being constructed on former swamp land and soft soils, all utilities are elevated with extensive piling to avoid settlement problems, compromising the piped networks. "This elevated pipeline construction lends itself to the use of mobile cranes relying on the cranes' flexibility and ease of mobility across the site", said a project spokesman.

Construction on-site began in late 2006 with earthworks and dredging of the offshore channel. By the second half of 2007 construction of the superstructures was started on a 36 month contract.

More than 20000 construction workers will be employed during the construction phase. On completion the mill is expected to employ 3500 staff.

Environment issues

The project was approved by Brazil's environmental authorities following an extensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and was developed in accordance with Brazilian and European standards.

Sensitive issues such as the preservation of a 1.5 million m2 area of mangrove swamp close to the site and the drainage operation necessary for construction of the port terminal were comprehensively discussed, according to a company statement.

The environmental performance of the steel mill - levels of atmospheric emissions, generation of effluents and solid residues, etc, - use a comprehensive system of controls similar to those used at Thyssen Krupp's steel plant in Germany, where control of air pollution is amongst the most modern in the world and emissions reduced to a minimum.

Gases generated in the production process of the coking plant, the blast furnaces and steelworks will be used by the thermoelectric generator, with an installed capacity of 490 MW. The power plant will produce the total energy required by the complex, generating an excess of 200 MW, which has been sold to the national grid and will be available in 2011.

This excess capacity will be sufficient to meet the needs of 17% of the population of the State of Rio de Janeiro.

Liebherr rental cranes on-site include:

Locar: 10

IVTransportes: 4

Zandona: 3

Santin: 1

Diarc Pocheco: 1

Latest News
World Demolition Summit 2021 - conference update
Latest speakers and presentations as industry returns to an in-person event at Chicago in October
Strong second quarter figures from CNH
Company reports increases in order books
Sales for Caterpillar’s construction segment up 40%
Cat sees strong growth in second quarter of 2021 reflecting ‘continued improvement’ in markets