Power in Jordan

By Euan Youdale06 September 2010

Tilting the second stack up to vertical

Tilting the second stack up to vertical

On a power plant construction project in Jordan, contractor MAG overcame congested site conditions and an elevated final load height that demanded the services of the biggest crane in the country.

Over two days in June MAG Engineering & Contracting in Jordan conducted two heavy lifts of 52 tonne stacks on the Qatrana Power Plant Project. The lifts were normal other than the congested site conditions and the height of the final location for the lift. It was the height that called for the services of the biggest crane in Jordan - a Gottwald MK500 owned by Al Ajoure Cranes.

The QPPP project is owned by the Qatrana branch of the Jordan Electric Power Company. It is to construct a combined cycle power plant fuelled by gas. Main contractor is Korean company LOTTE. MAG is the subcontractor for the mechanical works on the project.

Work to date has included tilting up and placing large chimney stacks, and the installation of large turbines using jacking modules. Three 113 tonne transformers arrived on site in mid-June on Goldhofer SPMT. Each was jacked down off the trailer and moved to its final location on skids supplied by a local company that runs heavy and special lifting jobs.

Stack lift

The lifts of the elevated stacks were planned on AutoCAD by mechanical engineer Amer Mousa, plant and rigging manager at MAG Engineering & Contracting. They were conducted with the assistance of Ebrahim Ajoure over a three day period. Mousa also made all necessary site arrangements, including ground levelling and crane locations ahead of the actual lifts. The stacks were 52.4 tonnes and 24 m long.

"The tilt-up process was the easy part of the job because we had a 500 tonne capacity Gottwald MK500 as the main crane, rigged with 63 m of main boom and capable of lifting 103 tonnes at the 22 m radius where the stack is scheduled for erection. The tailing crane was a Kobelco CKE1350 rigged with 33.5 m of main boom and capable of lifting 75 tonnes at 11 m radius," Mousa explains.

"The dangerous part was lifting the stack above the top of the steel structure which was 16 m high. The main crane lifted the stack with two 5 m long slings from the stack to the lifting beam and then another two 5 m slings from the lifting beam to the hook. This made the total lifted height 50 m," Mousa continues.

The lift of each stack took about two hours and the job was completed without any injuries or recordable incidents. "I am happy that the owner of my company agreed to get a large crane to keep the risk factor low at all times," Mousa concluded.

In Jordan

The crane industry in Jordan is slow at the moment but, in the higher capacity crane sector, business is better than in the smaller crane sector, says Mousa. The biggest crane in Jordan used to be an old Gottwald MK600 but capacity was restricted to 400 tonnes because some attachments were missing.

"Six months ago another crane rental company got the Gottwald MK500 that we used on this project but it is very old - from 1971. The owner has modified it by installing a PLC switchboard and he can operate the whole crane by remote control and this was really exciting for me," says Mousa.

Amer's father, who has a crane rental, testing and certification company, tested the MK500 prior to the lift. "We had a very good load test. We lifted 67 tonnes at 30 m radius. This made me worry less because, in the load test, we exceeded the actual lift load by 10 tonnes and the working radius by 8 m," Amer says.

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