When you build and install very big equipment world-wide, like E-Crane® does, you get involved in some of the largest and most complicated erection projects. Our E-Crane® engineers develop transport and erection procedures that consider the full range of site constraints and we design comprehensive plans to erect our cranes in the safest and most efficient manner possible. The E-Crane® project for the new coal unloader at the Crystal River power station (Tampa, Florida) is a typical example of such a complex and complicated transport and erection process. The manufacturing and the initial shop assembly and testing were done in Belgium. When it came to transporting and erecting this new E-Crane® weighing over 400 tons and towering to a height of more than 30 meters (100 ft) our E-Crane® engineers were challenged… Time to come up with some creative solutions !
In a first phase structural components for the E-Crane® weighing more than 60 tons (130,000 Lbs) were trucked from our assembly shop in Adegem (Belgium) to a quay in Flushing (the Netherlands) last December where they were further assembled into 2 major subassemblies.
The second phase started mid January 2007 when these subassemblies with a maximum unit weight of around 175 tons (400,000 Lbs) were loaded onto an ocean going transport vessel sailing for Port Manatee, Florida.
Phase three took place at port Manatee in the Tampa bay area where the subassemblies were transloaded onto a barge and pushed by a tug approx 190 kilometers (120 miles) north to the Crystal River coal dock facility.
During the fourth and most critical final stage these subassemblies were put onto the dock and mechanically joined with the assistance of a 600 ton floating stiff leg derrick crane and a land based 500 tons telescopic boom crane. A complex “tandem” crane lift to place the upper portal on the lower portal was the critical lift.
The 175 ton assembly had to be level and positioned within a few millimeters for the bolts to drop in. After careful setup, this operation was completed in 40 minutes from lift off to set down. For our E-Crane® this final phase was the closing masterpiece of a remarkable and more than 5,500 mile journey between Adegem in Belgium and Crystal River in Tampa, the United States !
Mark Osborne reported from Tampa: “Incredible team effort !!! A 3000 Series E-Crane® fully assembled mechanically in 3 days! This was a complex lifting operation that was performed flawlessly. It goes to show what a small group of dedicated and highly skilled professionals can do with good planning, good communication, an engineered lift plan and superb execution !!! I’m very proud of our team. Another successful E-Crane® installation on time! Results like this can only be achieved when people work as a team. Congratulations to everyone at E-Crane Worldwide, ECI-USA and Progress Energy.”
Source: Lieven Bauwens,ir. – Managing Director – E-Crane Worldwide