Crawler crane from Demag handles challenging coke drum component lift
Tough lifts require tough machinery. This is why Russian crane service provider M-Kran decided to use its brand new Demag CC 8800-1 crawler crane to lift the heavy components for four coke drums.
It all happened at the Kstovo oil refinery close to Nizhny Novgorod, 450 kilometers to the east of Moscow, in February and March 2020.
The company decided on the Demag CC 8800-1 crawler crane for a variety of reasons, with two important ones being its enormous lifting capacity and its high reliability. "In addition, we in Russia are well aware of and value Demag's decades of experience building cranes," explains M-Kran owner Ivan Mardar. The brand new CC 8800-1 - the biggest and only crane in Russia which is owned by a Russian company and will stay permanently in Russia - was delivered by the manufacturer from the Demag plant in Zweibrücken straight to the customer in Russia, with the overall journey to the work site taking a total of 80 truck runs and about three weeks. And this proved to be quite the logistical challenge: In order to get to the work site, M-Kran needed a permit for trucks with big crane components: "That didn't make our work any easier," reports Ivan Mardar.
Quick and easy assembly
It took another three weeks to assemble the crane on-site in winter conditions. And even though this year's winter was pretty mild by Russian standards, both transportation and assembly work were still affected. Two Demag service technicians from Germany provided support to the four-to-five-member M-Kran team in charge of assembling the crane with the help of a 350-tonne crawler crane, and the assembly technicians were very positively surprised by the crane's design: "The CC 8800-1 is designed in such a way that it can be transported very efficiently. And for a crane of this size, it can be assembled surprisingly quickly and easily," was the general consensus.
The only hindrance that the team had to overcome in addition to winter conditions was the work site itself - tight space conditions, a large number of buildings, and a lot of construction material all made work challenging for the assembly technicians.
Lifts with Boom Booster configuration
For the lifts, the CC 8800-1 was equipped with a Boom Booster with a BSWSL Superlift configuration, a 66-meter main boom with a 48-meter extension, and 295 tonnes of counterweight on the superstructure. The lifts were then carried out with additional Superlift counterweight of up to 520 tonnes. The Boom Booster Kit is designed to increase the main boom's stiffness, increasing the already-impressive lifting capacity of the CC 8800-1 by up to a stunning 90 percent with certain configurations and making the CC 8800-1 superior to other cranes in the class of up to 2,000 tonnes. This makes the Boom Booster the ideal solution for heavy lifts, such as the ones that are required at oil refineries and for large infrastructure projects. The Boom Booster kit can either be ordered directly with a new crane or retrofitted as a kit for cranes that have already been delivered.
With the Boom Booster and the help of an assist crane, the CC 8800-1 was able to reliably tackle all the lifts on its schedule. The heaviest loads consisted of six steel supporting structures for the coke drums, each weighing between 200 and 400 tonnes. Meanwhile, the drums themselves came up to a massive 200 tonnes. In addition, the crane also had to lift other components that weighed less. Since some of the components had dimensions that were too big for road transport, they were first disassembled and delivered that way to the work site, where they were then pre-assembled on the ground so that they could be lifted. The lifts for the four coke drums followed the same basic pattern, with the exception that they had to be brought to a height of 65 meters and the last steel structure to a height of 88 meters. And this was one of the many occasions where the Demag CC 8800-1 truly shined: "We were simply amazed by how maneuverable and easy to operate the crane was despite its gigantic size. This meant that we were able to carry out all the lifts quickly and efficiently with it, and the general contractor confirmed how happy they were to work with the Demag CC 8800-1 and with M-Kran which is always a nice thing to hear," says Managing Director Alexander Naumov while explaining just how impressed they were with the machine.
The CC 8800-1 spent a whole month at the work site as originally scheduled, and the demanding project was finished on time and to the full satisfaction of everyone involved. "The outstanding support provided by Demag played a crucial role in this and proved to be a huge advantage throughout this challenging job," points out owner Ivan Mardar, who is already looking forward to many more years of working together.