Liebherr Crane Loads Massive Oil Platform

Mexican crane and heavy haulage contractor ESEASA used its Liebherr LR 13000 crawler crane for the first time to load oil platforms onto barges at the port city of Tampico.

Tampico is on the Gulf of Mexico and is a major industrial center with its own port. A large number of industrial companies have made their homes on the banks of the Rio Pánuco, to enable them to ship their freight down the river to the sea.

ESEASA also has a company site directly on the banks of the waterway. The company is currently manufacturing seven oil platforms there for state oil group PEMEX. These were hoisted onto barges in component form by the LR 13000 before being transported to the south of the Gulf of Mexico.

The loads for hoisting were gigantic. Up to 1,200 tonnes had to be positioned on the barges using a radius of up to 38 meters. The Liebherr 3,000-tonne crawler crane is ideal for this work and delivers significant benefits compared to the previous method for loading oil platforms.

Previously, the heavy components were loaded onto SPMTs using jack-up systems and then driven onto the barge on them. This took around 18 hours. To be loaded in this way, the barge must be positioned front-in at a 90 degree angle to the quay and held in place by several tugs. In this position, the barge extends so far into the waterway that it has to be closed for several hours, costing an enormous amount of money.

Loading the enormous steel structures using the LR 13000 took just three hours and the barge could be secured alongside the quay. Tugs were required for significantly less time which saved a great deal of money and the canal could be left open for shipping.

Since no heavy SPMTs had to drive onto the barge with the steel components, smaller barges could be used, therefore also reducing costs.

Aldo Santos, who owns ESEASA along with his four brothers, was delighted: “Loading the massive components using the Liebherr LR 13000 worked perfectly and is significantly more economical than our previous procedure. The extremely short time required is extraordinary.”

The LR 13000 can hoist up to 3,000 tonnes and is the most powerful conventional crawler crane in the world.