February 3 - Nantes based company Sogecofa, part of the Mediaco Group, has used three heavy Terex all terrain cranes - an AC 350, an AC 500-2 and an AC 700 - to help service the Kembs lock on the Grand Canal of Alsace.

The Kembs lock is part of the hydroelectric power station of Kembs, operated by Electricte de France (EDF), is the first and largest of eight power plants along the Grand Canal of Alsace, which allows for commercial river shipping from the North Sea to the Port of Basel. Each of the power stations has its own dual-chamber lock to allow vessels to pass the cascade which drive the turbines.

The logistics operation involved the rerouting of vessels through the lock's eastern chamber, so that a 500 tonne gate, which was 26 m wide and 18 m high, could be replaced.

Sogecofa reports that with the lock gate surrounded by water, it was impossible to position the cranes for a coordinated tandem lift, and it positioned the Terex AC 500-2 crane inside the lock using the AC 700.

Each section of the gate was initially lifted by the three cranes and then the AC 500-2 took the full weight of the section and placed it on its rails.

The same operation was repeated four times, and on the last manoeuvre there was just a 20 cm margin between the load and the control building of the lock.