IN NOVEMBER HEAVYTORQUE ATTENDED AN EVENT HELD BY SARENS TO CELEBRATE THE INTRODUCTION OF THE LARGEST CRANE IN ITS FLEET. ITS INITIAL TASK WILL BE THE CONSTRUCTION OF HINKLEY POINT NUCLEAR POWER STATION.
The giant SGC-250, was launched at an event in the port of Ghent, Belgium. The machine is currently regarded as the largest crane in the World in both size and capacity. Chief executive officer Wim Sarens, and director of technical solutions, projects, and engineering, Carl Sarens, presented the crane from a commercial and technical standpoint to the audience.
The SGC-250 is the first of the third-generation of ring-based cranes at Sarens. It has a maximum load moment of 250,000tonnes/m which allows the lifting of an astonishing 5,000 tonnes. Even at a large radius of 100m, the crane is still capable of lifting 2,000 tonnes and, even when doing so, the ground pressure remains below 25tonnes/m². This is achieved through the high number of wheel bogies on the double ring beams and the spreader mats that the machine features.
The main boom, which is now 118m, can be extended up to 160m and the jib can be extended up to 100m. This combination can reach the height of about 250m or a radius of 275m. This flexibility allows Sarens to provide whatever is needed by the client, all on a double ring design of no more than 48.5m, which constitutes the outer diameter. In addition, the crane can operate two hook blocks: one on the main boom and one on the jib. In this way, the crane can cover each spot on the jobsite while still offering the combination of strong capacities and fast operations.
The crane features a full redundancy arrangement on the hoisting and slewing system which is achieved by intelligently connecting and steering all 12 engines in six power packs. It also has the ability to relocate, fully rigged on site, from one lifting position to another. This is a characteristic which constitutes a breakthrough for the entire global crane industry, says Sarens. The crane has two sets of wheels: one for slewing 360° and one for travelling. The second set is hydraulically retractable and is pushed out whenever the crane needs to travel.
The SGC-250 will shortly be moved to its first project in the UK – the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, currently the UK’s largest and most complex civil engineering project. Hinkley Point C will supply seven per cent of the UK’s low carbon electricity and will create some 25,000 employment opportunities throughout the construction phase. The main civil engineering works at Hinkley Point C are delivered by BYLOR – the joint venture of Bouygues Travaux Publics and Laing O’Rourke. The SGC-250 will be used by the Hinkley Point C team to lift and shift the station’s heaviest pre-fabricated components. The machine is planned to lift more than 600 pieces of pre-fabrication, including the five major parts of each unit’s steel containment liner and dome.
As the SGC-250 bares many similarities to its preceding models, Sarens commercially expects the SGC-250 to have a comparable trajectory to that of the other Sarens Giant Cranes.