Ainscough Crane Hire’s HPC team along with Fairport has completed another first at the site of Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset as it carried out the first crane lifts from the site’s jetty access road. The concept of the using a tandem lift for this application was first conceived by Fairport and later developed by the Ainscough and Fairport team working together.
The 500 metre long jetty is being assembled to receive construction materials at the 3,200 MWe power station which has an estimated construction cost of around £20 billion and an operational lifetime of 60 years. In the process, the Jetty will remove pressure on the local load network reducing the impact of the construction on local communities.
With the main structure of the jetty partially complete, work to add the first 8 gantries is being carried out with the lifting support provided by the Ainscough team to Fairport Engineering who designed and manufactured the gantries. Special crane lifting mats were designed and manufactured by Fairport so as to allow the loads created during the lift to be distributed through the road bridge structure.
Locating the crane on the jetty was a precision affair with just 70mm of clearance between the kerbs and outrigger mats. The outrigger pads had to be positioned on specially made steel/concrete mats and within a 10mm tolerance. The positional constraints relating to the lift pad combined with the lift capacity requirements, led the team to select two Liebherr LTM 1060-3.1 cranes with VarioBase technology to complete the tandem lifts.
Technical manager, Mario Martins explains. He said: “This is the only type of crane which could have carried these works out and the flexibility of our fleet once again came to the fore to meet our customers’ needs.
“The stability and positioning of the lift pad is always one of our major concerns but they are rarely if ever as precise as this.
“The 6.0m x 0.55m steel/concrete mats designed by Fairport were manufactured specifically for these lifts and positioned along the length of the jetty.
“It has been a great team effort and I’d like to thank the Fairport Site team for coordinating the operation along with the Ainscough team of Alex Swann, crane operator; Jason West, crane operator and Dale Hamilton, slinger / signaller for their hard work and dedication.”
Earlier this year, Ainscough hit a major milestone by completing 1000 lifts on the Hinkley Point C site.