‘Big Carl’ lifts first loads at Hinkley Point C

PRESS RELEASE – Big Carl, the world’s largest crane capable of lifting 5,000 tonnes, has completed its first major lift at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the UK. In total, the Sarens SGC-250 crane will carry out 700 lifts for the new plant with the loads varying in weight between 10 and 1,600 tonnes. 

Big Carl will stay at the construction site for four years. During that period, it will lift loads ranging from precast concrete elements to pipe sections, steel rings, and machinery equipment weighing from 10 to 1.600 tonnes. The crane will also lift five major parts of each unit’s steel containment liner and dome.

The SGC-250 was designed in-house and specially engineered according to the clients’ lifting schedule. It will work from three different lift locations on-site, travelling via rail to reach each of them.

“This flexibility and mobility is a key feature of the SGC-250: it has two sets of wheels designed both for 360° slewing and for travel between lift positions. The ability to relocate, fully-rigged, from one lift position to another makes it one of the most unique cranes in the global heavy lifting industry”, Sarens states.

The SGC-250 travelled to Hinkley Point via ship and road transport. Half of the components for the crane arrived at the Avonmouth port via ship while others came in via road. Some 400 truckloads transported the SGC-250 modules from Avonmouth to the site, where the crew worked to assemble the massive crane over a limited 10-week timespan.

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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