While doubts have been expressed by some about whether there is enough work for all the 1,000t cranes that are for hire in the UK, Ainscough insists that its Liebherr LTM 1800/LGD 1550 Millennium Lifter is well supplied with orders.

Ainscough has both telescopic and lattice booms for the crane and so can configure it in either LTM or LG versions, without or without a derrick (D) backmast.

Among recent projects, it installed a 56m-high distillation column at Shell UK’s manufacturing complex in Ellesmere Port near Liverpool. The 171t column was lifted from its sea transport by two 400t cranes and moved to site on Mammoet trailers. For the main lift, the 1,000t-capacity crane was assisted by a 400t Liebherr as the tailing crane. In two days the main crane, rigged on strut jib, was assembled with 42m of main boom, 28m luffing fly jib and a 31.5m back mast.

In Northwich, also in the northwest, the same crane was used to install a 120t pipe rack, part of a steam interconnector project to link two sites. Such a large crane was needed because the pipe rack, in three sections, with the heaviest weighing 60t, had to be lifted at a radius of 79.5m. With 250t of counterweight, 63m of luffing fly jib was added to the 42m strut boom to get the required radius. Because the pipe rack was lifted over railway lines, the contract had to be completed within the allotted 20 hour rail possession period.

At Hull docks the so-called Millennium Lifter recently moved the last of three generators for Alstom Distribution Services. The 193t lift was at 18m radius with 35m of main boom and 200t of counterweight.

Further north the crane was used to launch a new design of fishing trawler. At 18m by 7m and weighing 140t, the twin-rigged Rebecca is the largest vessel to be built in Whitby for 25 years.