One of the key players in the construction of Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte 2’s sea defences, is about to begin a new life. The massive Blockbuster E-Crane will be mounted on a floating platform and used for a pipeline dredging operation in the Caspian Sea, close to the shores of Kazakhstan.
To be renamed Titan, Blockbuster’s 30m high and weighs about 1,200 tonnes. Original contractor PUMA used it from 2011-2012 to build an important part of the hard sea defence that will protect Maasvlakte 2 from the sea and from extreme ‘once in 10,000 years’ storms.
Blockbuster placed approximately 20,000 individual concrete blocks, each 2.5m³ and weighing over 40,000kg. The crane was disassembled during January 2013 for transport to the Caspian Sea where it will work for oil and gasmajor Saipem.
Titan brings a combination of 45m outreach and lifting capacity of 24.5 tonnes never before achieved by a conventional dredger. Using Titan allows dredged material to be stockpiled underwater along the trench but far enough away to ensure that the material won’t migrate back into the trench. This saves Saipem time and money because it will not require transport vessels to store material while the pipeline’s being placed.
Once the pipe’s installed, Titan will reclaim the material and cover the pipe.