20,000 metric tons. That's 98 Statues of Liberty or 10,000 VW Beetles. But when you're building the world's largest oil rigs, your crane needs to be able to hold every last ounce.
This is the bridge crane Taisun, the world's strongest, capable of hoisting in excess of 20,000 metric tons. Its world record-setting lift of 20,133 metric tons broke its two previous records of 17,100 and 14,000 tons. So yes, it's very good picking up heavy loads.
Located in an 11m dry dock at Yantai Raffles Shipyard in Yantai, Shandong Province, China, the 30-storey Taisun is designed to install the enormous, 10-story integrated upper modules on semi-submersible oil rig platforms. It's a bridge crane with two parallel steel beams, each 126m long, resting atop four concrete columns. Each beam is equipped with six winches, wires, controls and transformers - weighing in at 4800 tons. The lower, rear beam is attached to a set of 10m long tracks for adjusting to shorter lifts. The winches on each bar can work both independently and in unison, each with a 2000 ton capacity.
"If you can handle the larger blocks, 15,000t-16,000t, you can chop up a semi-submersible offshore platform into two pieces: lower pontoon columns and an upper deck box," as Brian Chang, owner of Yantai Raffle shipyards, tells Cranes Today.
The final assembly of an oil rig goes something like this: First, the integrated module is loaded onto a barge located beneath the crane. The Taisun then lifts the module as high as 80m (at a rate of 10m an hour). The barge is then removed and a team of tug boats push the platform into place. It then puts top and bottom together, workers connect everything and - boom - an oil rig is born.
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