March 6 - Rope and Sling Specialists (RSS) has provided the rigging equipment to support the refurbishment of two 10-tonne capacity, four-rope quayside cranes, each weighing 65 tonnes in total, at Associated British Ports' (ABP) Newport dock, UK.

The cranes were dismantled, refurbished and relocated 50 miles (80.46 km) west to the Port of Swansea, also an ABP site.

The refurbishment was part of a larger GBP2.8 million (USD3.4 million) project to upgrade five cranes across ABP's ports of Newport and Swansea. The work encompassed an upgrade of major mechanical components such as slew and hoist equipment, motor drives and control panels.

For the pair of Swansea-based portal dockside cranes, RSS provided the rigging equipment as a mobile crane dismantled each crane in three pieces. Once the same lifting gear was resupplied to reassemble the cranes, RSS conducted thorough examination and testing in line with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).

Steve Hutin, managing director at RSS, explained that the biggest challenge was encountered by the centre of gravity of the middle section of the cranes which included the operator's cabin. He said: "We knew the section was 50 tonnes in weight but the centre of gravity was out so we used two [MOD 50] Modulift spreader beams in close proximity."

RSS utilised fixed lifting attachments on the front of the cabins, while two 30-tonne chain blocks were used on the back with a flat braided wire rope sling that was manufactured to lift level. As with the other two sections, the main piece was lowered onto stools for transportation. Roundslings were used for these lifting operations.

The Port of Newport is a steel, metals, recycling, and renewable energy hub, while the Port of Swansea has capacity to handle vessels of up to 30,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) and provides berths and facilities for most types of cargo.

Three of the upgraded cranes are now located at Newport and two at Swansea.