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Vanguard crane rises to the occasion

May 14 - South African heavy lift and relocation specialist, Vanguard, has used its latest major capital investment - a GTK 1100 crane - to install a wind turbine as part of the first phase of the first commercial wind farm at Port Elizabeth.

The crane arrived in the country just in time to erect the wind turbine. "The GTK 1100 was ideally suited for this assignment and is a major breakthrough in the heavy lift crane market. It was designed to lift ultra heavy loads to extreme heights and its potential lies in being deployed in facilities such as wind farms, power stations and refineries," said Bryan Hodgkinson, managing director, Vanguard. 

The V90 2.0MW wind turbine has a blade diameter of 90m, a hub height of 95m weighing 97 tonnes and has three blades, each 44.5m wide. Following discharge at Coega harbour; the shipment was loaded onto four trailers and transported to construction site, where it was lifted in sections, starting with the four tower sections being positioned on a pre-set platform. The nacelle and hub were connected on the ground, creating the heaviest weight of 97 tonnes. It was then lifted into position as a complete unit. The blades were lifted into position separately. 

According to Vanguard, the GTK 1100 features a number of unique innovations. A key benefit is its fast set-up. Thanks to the vertical rigging of the self-erecting tower, it can be operational in just four to six hours. The crane has a small footprint of 18 x 18m (including the boom set-up) and its self-levelling functionality results in minimal ground preparation.

Vanguard says that this is the seventh crane of its type in the world and the first and only one on African soil.

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