August 9 - A series of record-breaking lifts at an oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, USA has been undertaken by UK-based global heavy transport and lifting company ALE, using for the first time in North America its award-winning crane.

ALE used its extended lifting radius AL.SK190 heavy lifting crane to complete a two-stage project that involved lifting 1,338 tonnes at 54 m outreach. 

In the initial phase of the project, the AL.SK190 was used to exchange coker drums, removing six old drums and replacing with six new drums weighing up to 471 tonnes each.

The crane first lifted a 1,400 tonne derrick structure, which was positioned on top of the existing coker drums at a height of 100 m, and set it on the ground. The coker drums were then exchanged and the derrick structure replaced.

The derrick lift performed by the AL.SK190 was the first time a complete derrick assembly consisting of triple drill towers and cutting deck, had been removed and replaced in a single piece.

"This project clearly demonstrated the benefits of the AL.SK190's lifting radius - we were able to rig the crane off plot, meaning key aspects of the refinery remained operational during the installation. No other crane in the world had the capacity to lift the derrick structure in one piece," claims John Trafford, operations manager, ALE. 

In addition to the AL.SK190, ALE utilised an 850-tonne tailing gantry and 60 axle lines of SPMTs. ALE also supplied all of the engineering calculations and related support.

The 4,300 tonne-capacity AL.SK190, which won the Innovation and Development Award for End Users at the 2010ESTA Awards of Excellence, has a load moment of 190.000 tm, a 141 m main boom and a 32.1 m ballast radius.