Scotland gets 1,000 tonne goliath crane

By Alex Dahm07 March 2011

Babcock's new US$20 million goliath crane arrives in Scotland

Babcock's new US$20 million goliath crane arrives in Scotland

A new 1,000 tonne capacity goliath crane has arrived at the Rosyth Dockyard in Scotland.

The crane from Chinese manufacturer ZPMC will be used by leading UK engineering support services organisation Babcock at the Fife yard to build the Royal Navy's Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

The crane passed under the famous Forth bridges on Thursday 3 March aboard specialist crane transport vessel Zhen Hua 13 from the crane manufacturer's fleet. It marked the end of a 14,000 mile journey that started 17 December 2010 in Shanghai.

The US$ 20 million crane will stand 68 metres to the underside of the main bridge beams. Its span is 120 m. Component parts, or blocks, of the new ships are under construction around the UK and will be assembled using the new crane. The crane is built to comply with European quality and safety standards. Its construction and material integrity has been overseen by teams from Babcock, Lloyds Register Asia, IMES, Oceaneering and Bureau Veritas China.

The crane arrived with the upper sections of the legs already assembled to the main bridge beam. It will be erected to its full height on the ship's deck, over a six week period, before being winched from ship to shore and directly onto its rails. Installation of the rails, completed in February 2010, involved 380 piles and reinforced concrete foundation beams. It will take just over four months to erect, test and commission the crane, for final handover in mid-2011, ready to start work in September 2011.

"This is a major landmark for Babcock in the aircraft carriers project. After watching the Goliath crane being fabricated, it was fantastic to see it coming under the Forth bridges and I look forward to welcoming it to its new home in Rosyth. The Goliath crane is an essential element in Babcock's commitment to completing the assembly of the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince ofWales," said Sean Donaldson, Babcock project director for the aircraft carriers' construction.

"This is yet another important milestone for the Aircraft Carrier Alliance. The Goliath crane will be the largest structure of its type in Europe and will dominate the skyline in Fife. The crane is a vital element in the programme to build both the QE Class aircraft carriers because the ships are being constructed in such huge sections, so we needed something capable of lifting up to 1,000 tonnes. It will be great to see the crane in action as blocks of the ship start to arrive in Rosyth in the months to come and HMS Queen Elizabeth starts to take shape," said Geoff Searle, Aircraft Carrier Alliance programme director.

At 65,000 tonnes each, HMS Queen Elizabeth, due in 2014, and HMS Prince ofWales,due in 2016, will be the largest surface ships ever built in the UK.

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