The largest crane ever built by Manitowoc has completed its largest lift yet. The Manitowoc 31000, a 2,300 t (2,535 USt) capacity crawler crane, performed a pick-and-carry lift with a 650 t cold box at a liquefied natural gas plant in Gwangyang, South Korea.
The recent lift took place in September at the Posco E&C plant where the crane, which is the first 31000 in the field, has been working since March.
The 31000â€™s design means it can be disassembled, moved and re-assembled in just four weeks. As a result, it has a busy schedule of upcoming and ever-increasing lifts at the site, with a 900 t pick scheduled for November and two 1,000 t lifts due to take place in December and February.
The Manitowoc 31000 is owned by South Koreaâ€™s Chunjo Construction Co., one of the worldâ€™s biggest crane rental companies. Complementing its 2,300 t (2,535 USt) capacity, Chunjo was particularly impressed by the craneâ€™s unique Variable Position Counterweight (VPC) system, which was used for the first time during the lift of the cold box, much to the delight of Chang Hwan Jang, chairman at Chunjo:
â€œItâ€™s great to see this flagship crane performing, making an awkward lift look easy,â€ he says. â€œThe 31000 has a minimal footprint thanks to its VPC but also offers a huge capacity, so it fits our needs perfectly. We are delighted with how well the crane is performing and look forward to seeing the next challenging lift it tackles.â€
The Manitowoc 31000 lifted the 55 m tall cold box, which measures 9 m by 9 m, off a flat-bed trailer in tandem with a 600 t capacity Manitowoc 18000, also owned by Chunjo. Once airborne and upright, the 31000 took over and carried the load to its final location. The entire operation took less than two hours.
The tight lift was hindered by a high wall to the side of the 31000 that restricted its movement. To avoid this, the craneâ€™s entire 55 m boom was raised to its highest angle, bringing the load closer to the crane and minimizing potential swing. The crane is also fitted with a 36 m luffing jib.
The 31000â€™s VPC system minimizes the craneâ€™s footprint and ground preparation by suspending the counterweight in mid-air, rather than using a wheeled counterweight trolley, found on other high-capacity crawler cranes. The VPC automatically positions the 31000â€™s counterweight to fit the required lift and ranges from 8 m fully retracted to 29 m fully extended.
Since arriving at the plant, the Manitowoc 31000 has completed a range of challenging lifts around the congested site. Two of the previous largest lifts included placing reactors that weighed 250 t and 450 t each. Manitowoc Crane Care engineers work closely with Chunjo to support its operators throughout its major lifts.
The 31000 will remain at the Gwangyang plant for the coming weeks but Chunjo is likely to supply the crane to another major project soon.
Based in South Korea, Chunjo operates a fleet of more than 120 Manitowoc crawler cranes, Grove mobile cranes and Potain tower cranes. It owns more Manitowoc 18000s than any other company in the world.
The Posco E&C plant uses cutting-edge technology to make liquefied gas from low-grade coal. The cold box is a self-contained processing unit that liquefies and purifies natural gas, and is one of the largest single components at the plant.