Genova, Italy-based crane rental agency Vernazza Autogru used its Tadano CC 68.1250-1 lattice boom crawler crane to load heavy components onto a pipelaying ship at the port of Marseille, France.

In one of the biggest dry docks in all of Europe, Forme 10, lifted technical equipment onto the Saipem CastorOne, one of the world’s largest pipelaying ships with a length of 325 metres.

Specifically the crane had to replace heavy pipelaying equipment on the ship with more powerful and efficient components. This included lifting a DMA winch weighing 190 tonnes to a height of 30 metres at a radius of 30 metres, as well as six 200-tonne tensioners to a height of 40 metres at a radius of 50 metres. The heaviest load was a 500-tonne pipeline winch with a five-kilometre steel wire rope that had to be lifted to a height of five metres at a radius of 25 metres.

“Not a single one of the employees at the site had ever seen such an enormous crane in the flesh before – which maybe isn’t that surprising, given that our CC 68.1250 1 is the biggest crane currently in use in France and Italy,” said Vernazza Autogru general director Paolo Delfino.

The dock was a tight space in which to work. The crane’s track width, however, matched the rail spacing of the dock’s own harbour crane at the dock. This turned out to be a crucial advantage as it made it possible to position and move the CC 68.1250 1 on crane mats directly on the rails. “That was a very fortunate circumstance as it made manoeuvring the crane much easier,” Delfino added.

The CC 68.1250-1 was transported to the dock in France from La Spezia, Italy, by a 3,000-tonne barge over four days. Once it arrived at the port in Marseille a five-person Vernazza team set it up ready to go in less than a week.

The crane was configured with an 84-metre main boom and SSL with the complete superstructure and Superlift counterweights, enabling it to take care of all lifts safely and as scheduled with a ramshorn hook for both light and heavy loads.

The crane worked at the dock for four around months without any problems so, according to Vernazza Autogru, its client, the Chantier Naval de Marseille shipyard, was extremely happy.