Texas trip a success for ALE’s AL.SK190

9 August 2011


ALE’s 4,300t capacity AL.SK190 has completed its first heavy lift in North America replacing coker drums and components of a hydrocracking unit at an oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.

Use of the crane’s extended lifting radius, which allowed a load of 1,338t to be lifted with a 54m reach, and simplified operations as the AL.SK190 could be set up outside the footprint of the coker pit. The radius removed the need to dismantle elements of the site to accommodate the mammoth crane.

A 1,400t derrick structure needed to be removed from its seat on top of the existing coker drums to provide access for the subsequent lifts to exchange them for the six new 471t drums.

This first lift required 12 lifting points on the derrick, necessitating some carefully planned rigging to safely remove the derrick from its 100m-high perch.

Once the coker drums had been replaced the derrick was placed in its original position and the crane was moved to the refinery’s hydrocracking unit (HCU).

At this site eight components, the heaviest being a 1,382t reactor, were lifted and installed for the HCU.

Reflecting on the success of the AL.SK190’s first lift, ALE operations manager John Trafford said, “This project clearly demonstrated the benefits of the AL.SK190’s lifting radius. We were able to rig the crane off-plot, meaning key aspects of the refinery remained operational during the installation. No other crane in the world had the capacity to lift the derrick structure in one piece.”

He added: “Because of the AL.SK190’s outreach we were able to use existing foundations for the HCU aspect of the project, achieving substantial time and cost savings as any other crane would have required new foundations to be laid.”

ALE believes this is the first job using a complete derrick assembly consisting of triple drill towers and cutting deck has been repositioned in a single lift.

Along with the 190,000tm AL.SK190, ALE also used an 850t tailing gantry along with 60 axle lines of SPMT.

ALE plans to unveil a second AL.SK190 at a launch ceremony later this month, before it is shipped to its first job in September.


The 1,400t derrick being lifted by the AL.SK190 The 1,400t derrick being lifted by the AL.SK190