In May 2011, Jumbo Shipping delivered a 71-metre-tall and 29-metre-wide container crane to the Port of Sète (France) for its client Eurocrane. Weighing close to 1,200 tonnes and equipped with a transport boom of 104 metres, it was the largest container crane ever transported by Jumbo. With this new crane the Port of Sète significantly increases its container handling capacity.
The project presented several technical challenges, which required innovative solutions. The crane’s centre of gravity was located relatively high up and its base protruded by 4 metres off the hull of Jumbo's Fairplayer, which was to ship it.
Jumbo’s and Eurocrane’s engineers developed a one-off solution which included adding ballast boxes. These ballast boxes served four different purposes:
· Adding ballast weight on a low elevation;
· Decreasing the supported width of the crane structure, which was partly overhanging;
· Acting as load spreaders;
· Acting as outriggers for the lifting points.
The crane was assembled in Aveiro (Portugal) and placed on board the Fairplayer in a single lift using its two 900-tonne mast cranes. The relatively high location of the centre of gravity meant the lift was a critical one: strong winds could cause the crane to incline. Therefore, pre-defined limits were described in the procedures. To ensure a smooth and controlled lift, the crane’s stability was increased by adding ballast weight.
Once on deck, the crane had to be supported without its bogies (‘crane wheels’) touching the deck. The supports on the starboard side distributed the weight over the outer hull and the bulkheads. On the portside however, the forces on the vessel were greater and additional supports had to be added to strengthen the ship’s structure.
To make sure the crane was properly secured for the three-day sea voyage to Sète, a combination of steel bracings and over 200 steel wire lashings were used to fasten the crane to the Fairplayer's deck.
Thanks to close cooperation with its client Eurocrane, Jumbo Shipping successfully concluded this challenging project, delivering the container crane safely to its end destination in southern France.