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Massive crawler crane used to lift oil platforms

A crawler crane has loaded gigantic oil platforms weighing up to 1200 tonnes each onto barges in just three hours.

A crawler crane has loaded gigantic oil platforms weighing up to 1200 tonnes each onto barges in just three hours.

Mexican crane and heavy haulage contractor ESEASA used its Liebherr LR 13000 crawler crane for the first time to perform the lift at the port city of Tampico, Mexico.

ESEASA is currently manufacturing seven oil platforms for the state-owned oil company PEMEX, which needed to be hoisted onto the barges for transport.

Previously, this type of job would have seen the heavy components loaded onto self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT) using jack up systems and driven onto the barge.

This process meant the barge would have to be positioned front-in at a 90-degree angle to the quay and held in place by several tugs, extending so far that the waterway would need to be closed for up to 18 hours.

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Loading the steel structures with the LR 13000 only took three hours, with the barge able to be secured alongside the quay. Tugs were required for significantly less time, saving a great deal of money and leaving the canal open for shipping.

As no SPMTs were needed, smaller barges could also be used, further reducing costs.

ESEASA co-owner Aldo Santos was delighted by the whole process.

“Loading the massive components using the Liebherr LR 13000 worked perfectly and is significantly more economical than our previous procedure,” he said. “The extremely short time required is extraordinary.”

ESEASA has three LTR 11200 cranes, three LTM 11200-9.1 machines and one LR 11350 as well as an LR 13000.

The LR 13000 can hoist up to 3000 tonnes and is one of the most powerful conventional crawler cranes in the world. It is able to operate without derrick ballast, which can be a major benefit when space is a premium.

This is made possible by a slewing ring with an extremely high load capacity, manufactured and developed by Liebherr.

It is also one of the tallest crawler cranes in the world, with a roller head height of up to 248 metres.

Santos said he appreciated having a direct line to Liebherr and reliable service around the clock.

“We require competent service and fast solutions for our projects. We cannot accept delays, we need solutions on the day,” he said.

“Liebherr provides us with excellent support and also ensures that well trained technicians are normally available. We also appreciate the high quality of Liebherr cranes.”

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