Giant ALE crane boosts Abu Dhabi petrochem expansions

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UK heavy lift and transport specialists ALE has recently used an AL.SK190 crane to help complete two site expansion projects in Abu Dhabi requiring lifts of loads weighing almost 2,000t.

An oil refinery and a natural gas liquid (NGL) processing plant, both located in the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company-managed town of Ruwais, contracted ALE for expansion projects that saw the firm handle not only the lifting on site but also the transport of loads to site.

Using ALE 250 and ALE 300 barges, items for each site were transported from Mina Zayed port before being transferred onto trailers and SPMTs at each site.

Once at the NGL plant expansion project, the 4,300t super-heavy crane completed 70 heavy load lifts, the largest of which were a 1,425t deethaniser column and a 1,401t depropaniser column for a new 4th NGL train.

Transport of these columns required the use of 3,000t bolsters specially designed by ALE to support the massive weights the SK series of cranes is built to lift.

ALE’s project manager for the NGL expansion project, Tom Irvine, said: “The main advantage to using the AL.SK190 on this project was that the crane’s radius allowed the 1,400t columns to be lifted onto their foundations from one fixed position; this particular project required a 77m radius to complete the installations.”

As an encore, ALE is already following up the lifts at the NGL plant with seven massive lifts across four locations on an oil refinery expansion project, using a 1,600t CC 8800-1 to complete 16 smaller lifts, as well as to tail the AL.SK190 crane.

ALE’s AL.SK190 is now at work on the third phase of the oil refinery expansion project, and is helping to build a new residual fluidised catalytic cracker unit, lifting loads such as a 1,100t reactor, a 1,200t main fractionator column and a 1,900t regenerator.

Irvine adds: “Another advantage to using the AL.SK190 was the footprint of the crane. The base of the crane can be adapted to use only what is required to complete the lifts for that project, this therefore minimises the space required and allows other construction works in the lift area to proceed unaffected by the lift sterilisation areas.”

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