Potain and Grove on Panama Canal

By Sarah Ann McCay19 November 2012

GUPC (Grupo Unido Por el Canal), the multinational consortium of contractors hired by the government of Panama to carry out the US$ 5 billion expansion of the Panama Canal, has acquired 14 Potain tower cranes and four Grove cranes.

The group brought in Panama City-based distributor Corpinsa to handle the lifting work with the Potain MC 205 B tower crane and several models from the Grove mobile crane line to get the job done.

GUPC purchased all 14 Potain tower cranes directly from Manitowoc. The 10 ton capacity MC 205 Bs are positioned on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the canal, helping to construct a third set of locks. With 50 metre height under hook and 50 m jib, they are working 24/7, installing rebar, formwork and machinery to assist in concrete pouring. Some are moving across the project on jobsite railways, while others are mounted on fixed bases.

Complementing the Potain tower cranes, GUPC also rented two Grove all terrain cranes - a Grove GMK5220 and a GMK5130-2 - plus a TMS9000E truck mounted crane and a RT890E rough terrain from Corpinsa. The Groves helped assemble the tower cranes and are now handling formwork and other tasks on site.

The largest civil works project in Latin America, the Panama Canal expansion will see the canal double in size. More than 150 million cubic metres of soil and rock will be excavated from the site and 5 million cubic metres of concrete will be poured for the new locks. When finished, the canal will have the capacity to accommodate larger ships, including supertankers and the largest modern container ships. The canal expansion work is scheduled for completion in 2014.

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