Australia-based Marr Contracting has been in action at the Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant (LSEP) in Northwich, Cheshire, UK.

Trade agreement boosts Marr’s UK business

Source: Marr Contracting

Marr Contracting, which specialises in cranage solutions to complex construction projects, expanded its international operations into the UK following the signing of the Australia-UK free trade agreement (FTA) in 2021. 

Marr Contracting developed the world’s largest capacity luffing tower crane (the Favelle Favco M2480D), two of which are on site at LSEP. The cranes can lift 330-tonnes; construction company Black & Veatch said the cranes’ capabilities are well suited to the work at Lostock. 

“While the benefits may not be intuitive to the ‘person on the street,’ using high-end tower cranes like those supplied by Marr Contracting actually translates into significant project outcomes,” said Ashley Palmer, Black & Veatch steel and heavy lift supervisor on the project. “It’s a compact, brownfield site so we were able to reduce the crane’s footprint and the cranes on site can operate under higher wind conditions, meaning they are in operation for longer. All these aspects come together to help the team gain schedule and keep the project safely on track.” 

Once complete, the LSEP will have the capacity to process 600,000 tonnes of waste per year. 

Simon Marr, managing director of Marr Contracting, added: “The FTA has provided more opportunities for businesses in the UK and Australia to work together.” Elisabeth Bowes, Australian deputy high commissioner to the UK and chief negotiator of the Australia-UK FTA, paid a visit to project site recently. 

In June 2023, HLPFI reported that Marr Contracting had its M2480D heavy lift luffing (HLL) tower crane mobilised at the Hinkley Point C power plant project in the UK, assisting with the handling of tunnel boring machines.

Hinkley Point C nuclear power station (HPC), being built by EDF (UK), is one of Europe’s largest and most complex construction projects and the first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK in more than 30 years. 

Balfour Beatty sought an alternative to the traditional approach of using large crawler cranes and a gantry system for handling tunnel boring machines. This would have required a lot of temporary works and double handling of equipment for the tunnel construction and ring segments for the tunnel lining. Instead, Marr was contracted to position one of its M2480D heavy lift luffing (HLL) tower cranes in a location where it could offer a single solution for all the lifting requirements.