The world’s largest crane, known as “Big Carl” is ready for assignments at the Hinkley Point C EPR construction site in Somerset, England, French utility Electrcite de France announced late last week.
The monster crane is “ready to start work,” EDF said. This giant can reach a height of 250 meters, allowing it to reach higher than the tallest tower at London’s Canary Warf. It can also move 5,000 metric tons in a single lift.
The crane is powered by 12 engines. It operates on a set of 96 wheels, which will enable it to move to three different lift locations during the construction process at Hinkley Point C.
At Hinkley, Big Carl is expected to perform over 700 power lifts of prefabricated components and pre-built infrastructure items. The maximum capacity for a lift is 1,600 metric tons. This is approximately the same as lifting 32 one-story homes or 1,600 cars.
The new Sarens SGC-250, the official name for the crane, was on display on site. It was built to support a growing trend towards modular construction at nuclear power plants, EDF said. This means, large components can be constructed within roofed factories on site, then lifted into place. This brings forth an often-stated promise from EDF, which is that lessons learned at prior construction projects will be applied to new projects to save time and money. The crane is at Hinkley to recreate some of the efficiencies developed during construction of two EPR reactor models at Taishan in China with cooperation of China General Nuclear.
Big Carl, which arrived at Hinkley in 280 separate shipments, is designed to run along six km of rail track. It was named in honor of Carl Sarens of Technical Solutions.
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