Record-breaking tandem lift

14 January 2020


Mammoet says that it has performed the heaviest and highest tandem lift ever undertaken during the construction of Ain Dubai, the world’s tallest observation wheel.

by Meraas, Ain Dubai sits on Bluewaters in the heart of Dubai and, once operational, will provide residents and visitors extensive views of the city of Dubai and its shoreline.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction (HDEC), the main contractor on the project, awarded Mammoet the heavy lifting contract to install the key structural elements of the wheel.

Being involved in the early phase of the project enabled Mammoet to present an installation method that delivered greater efficiency, safety and cost-effectiveness. They proposed installing the largest elements, the legs and spindle, directly from the barge they arrived on, onto foundations with two of their super heavy lift cranes. This eliminated the need for temporary storage, multiple barge transports and working at extreme heights.

Mammoet successfully positioned Ain Dubai’s four legs onto their foundations and lifted the spindle. Working closely with their client in the planning phase, Mammoet proposed the safest and most efficient method would be to install each component in one piece. Therefore, the legs and the spindle were prefabricated offsite by others before being transported by barge to the installation site. It reduced the number of barge trips required and each component was built safely at ground level before being lifted into place, eliminating the risks of working at heights.

Each 890t leg measured 126m long and 6.5m in diameter. They were rolled onto Mammoet’s barge using 40 axle lines of SPMT at the fabrication yard in Abu Dhabi. Once on the barge, the legs were securely floated to the site. For the installation, Mammoet paired the world’s biggest crane, the 5,000t PTC 200-DS ring crane, with a 3,000t crawler crane.

Together they ensured the stability and flexibility required to lift each leg and the spindle from the barge into position, whilst working 137m above the ground.

Mammoet said it has set a world record by lifting the 1,900t spindle to sit on top of the four legs.

Following the positioning of the legs and the spindle, Mammoet lifted eight rim pieces and temporary spokes. The 3,000t crawler crane was the only crane capable of carrying out these lifts. Its high capacity combined with its long lift radius could meet the distance between the barge and the installation point and lift each 700t section in one motion, without the need to set them down or reconfigure the crane.

Over a period of three and a half months, Mammoet supported the removal of the temporary spokes until all eight temporary spokes were disconnected from the wheel. Each 112m long spoke, weighing 470t, was lifted off the structure in tandem by Mammoet’s 600t and 400t crawler cranes.