Potains help set Russian oil platform record

By Euan Youdale18 February 2011

Potain MD 485 B topless tower cranes at at a dry dock in Nakhodka, 180 km from Vladivostok, Russia

Potain MD 485 B topless tower cranes at at a dry dock in Nakhodka, 180 km from Vladivostok, Russia

Aker Solutions is using five Potain tower cranes to construct part of an oil platform destined for Russia's Arkutun-Dagi field, situated off the coast of Sakhalin Island.

The construction giant is building the largest concrete gravity-based substructure made in Russia, for customer Exxon Neftegas Ltd, according to Manitowoc. The platform will use gravity and water chambers to support it during oil and gas extraction.

There are four Potain MD 485 B cranes and an MDT 218 A from Potain's topless city crane range working at the Nakhodka yard, where the substructure is being built. The owner of the dry dock, Zao Rosdorsnabzhenie, also owns the cranes and is renting them to Aker Solutions.

The four MD 485 Bs were assembled in April 2010, and the MDT 218 A began work in August of the same year. The cranes are lifting formwork, rebar, concrete buckets, mechanical equipment and pipe work. The heaviest loads are the pipe work, weighing up to 8 tonnes.

"The key challenges on this project are keeping work on schedule and meeting the quality requirements," said Bjorn Rognlien, Aker Solutions engineering manager. "Although these apply to most projects, on this job, they are magnified. If construction is delayed, bad weather will prevent us from transporting the structure to its final destination. This weather is some of the world's most extreme, and the quality of the structure has to be of the highest quality to withstand the environment."

All of the 20 tonne capacity MD 485 Bs are mounted on 2.45 x 2.45 m mast sections. One of them is working with a 70 m jib, while the other three are configured with 65 m jibs. Working heights for the MD 485 B cranes range up to 83.9 m.

The MDT 218 A is rail-mounted to allow movement around the dry dock. It is mounted on 2 x 2 m mast sections, with a 50 m jib and working height of 27 m.

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