ALE tests world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine

ALE has recently used its expertise in heavylifting operations and helped GE to unveil and test world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, the Haliade-X 12 MW, capable of powering 16,000 European households. Featuring the world’s longest blades, it has a rotor span of 260m.

Transportation of the first Haliade-X 12 MW nacelle took place at its factory in Saint-Nazaire, France. It was moved via SPMT approximately 200m, from the factory in which it was manufactured to the yard. Two nacelles in total were transported by ALE and then loaded onto barges for shipment to Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Blyth, UK. Here, each nacelle will form part of a test installation – one on land, one at sea. The weight of the nacelles was borne by 32 axle lines of SPMT in a 16 x 4 file configuration.

ALE has also completed lift operations to test the yokes that are used to install the Haliade-X 12 MW blades at sea. The yokes – known as Blade Eagles – are 170t and have dimensions of 32m x 10.5m x 14m. To perform this testing, ALE provided a 150t-capacity LR1600 crane and a load cell in slings.

This testing lasted for three days in total, following which the blades were placed back into support frames and the Blade Eagles placed on the quay for later collection by a vessel.The Blade Eagle yokes will be used for all offshore installations of the Haliade-X 12 MW. The turbine as a whole will undergo testing with an aim of mid-2021 for its first commercial production.

Fagioli installs Syncrolift platform in Genova

Fagioli has recently completed the final installation of a Syncrolift platform in Genova. Platform dimensions were the followings: length 84m, width 22m, height 2m. The 900t structure was transported from manufacturing area in Brindisi onto a dedicated barge by means of 4 x 10 axle lines SPMTs and sea transported up to Genova port. According to Fagioli, the most challenging part of the job was the load in operation of the platform. SPMTs configuration was changed twice in order to allow the structure to be loaded onto the quay. First the platform was moved ahead with the trailers positioned on the bow of the barge keeping the weight on the SPMTs positioned on the stern. The SPMTs were re-configured in order to move the platform in parallel to the barge axis. The platform was unloaded from barge and laid onto dedicated stools. No. 4 EZ-600  +  No. 4 Enerpac SBL1100 gantry lifting systems were used to connect the platform and execute the lowering operation and complete the installation. Fagioli engineering department was also involved for the operations of ballasting, lashing, securing and mooring.

ALE ensures mining vessel engine replacement

De Beers has turned to ALE to ensure the removal and replacement of two engines on its Debmar Pacific mining vessel. Since 2002 diamond operations in Namibia have taken place in larger volume offshore than onshore, so its very important that mining vessel availability remains high.

Prior to the lift operation ALE installed two custom-designed gantries on either side of the vessel, parallel with the floor of its engine rooms. These gantries were enlarged at the client’s request, in order to provide better access to the engines.

One by one, each engine was then jacked-up to a height of approximately 1m, using four 60t jacks. A medium skid track measuring 25m was then laid, from a position underneath the engine to the custom-designed gantry at the vessel’s exterior.

Each 38t GE engine was then skidded the length of this track, where it was uplifted using a 400t crawler crane and set down in a nearby storage area. This procedure was completed in reverse in order to install both 80t Wartsilla engines.

As time in port at Cape Town was limited to just a few weeks, several other similar procedures were taking place at the same time, meaning this work had to take place under strict space limitations.

ALE installs new turbine and generator at a power plant in Egypt

ALE has recently completed the swift installation of a turbine and generator at the Supercritical Power Plant in Assiut, Egypt. To install the steam turbine, weighing 240t and measuring 8m long, ALE used a gantry and 200t capacity strand jacks to lift the turbine 16m from the ground. As the entrance to the building was perpendicular to the installation location, the turbine needed to be turned by 90°. This was performed using skidding beams and the gantry was then skidded over the installation location, where the turbine was lowered into position on its bench. These manoeuvres were repeated for the installation of the stator generator, weighing 296t and measuring 10m long.

This operation was completed as part of a series of upgrades at the power plant that will help to contribute to Egypt’s drive for sustainable urban development and economic growth.

Mammoet and ALE confirm advanced purchase discussions

Mammoet and ALE have announced that the two companies are currently negotiating a purchase agreement, under which the Netherlands-based international heavy lift specialist Mammoet would acquire the UK-based rival.

Mammoet stated: “Should these discussions result in a signed agreement, the companies will seek approval from the relevant competition authorities. In the meantime, the companies will continue to act independently of each other, as competitors.”

At this point, Mammoet and ALE wish to refrain from publishing more details about their acquisition talks.

Mammoet is owned by SHV, a privately held Dutch investment company and employs around 5,000 people worldwide. The company has a fleet of SPMT’s totaling more than 3200 axle lines including over 1200 cranes with a maximum capacity of up to 5000t.

ALE is a private company headquartered in the UK with more than 40 offices worldwide, employing over 1,350 people. The heavy lift specialist has a fleet of over 100 cranes including large capacity based cranes as the AL.SK190 and the AL.SK350.

AAL delivers for Felixstowe’s expansion project

AAL has recently delivered a cargo of four rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs) to the Port of Felixstowe as a part of a development project. The ZPMC Chinese-made RTGs, measuring 32 m x 14 m x 30 m and weighing just under 200 t, were loaded in Shanghai and shipped to Felixstowe aboard the 31,000-DWT AAL Kobe vessel.

The new remote controlled RTGs will serve Berths 8 and 9 at the Port and are capable of stacking containers six-high to enable more efficient use of the new yard. All four units were discharged using Kobe’s own heavy lift cranes with 700 t maximum lifting capacity.

Christophe Grammare, AAL commented: “We are delighted to be back in the UK and calling for the first time in Felixstowe with such an impressive project cargo. Although the UK is a significant container shipping market – Felixstowe being the 6th busiest container port in Europe with about 26 million tons of cargo each year – it is not immediately associated with project heavy lift cargo. The RTGs were shipped there on-deck of the AAL Kobe which, with a highly flexible cargo capacity of almost 40.000 cbm, was also carrying additional project cargo under-deck that was discharged a few days later in Ireland.”

Mammoet deploys a new location in Antwerp

In order to support the growth of the largest European oil and chemical cluster on the Port of Antwerp, Mammoet has decided to install a new facility. The site is adjacent to the large deep-water Liberty-dock (Bevrijdingsdok). Thanks to this new location, Mammoet Belgium will be able to offer services with a fleet of new cranes ranging from 40-ton to 500-ton, tower cranes and SPMT’s, followed by an increase of its workforce in Antwerp.

Paul Van Vuren, Managing Director for Mammoet Belgium explains, “It is our strategy to continuously build on our offering to our clients and deliver efficient and cost-effective solutions. We aim to achieve this in Antwerp by investing in people and resources to maximize the potential of our new dock-side location.”

Sarens performs tandem lift at the Al Bayt Stadium in Quatar

To be able to assemble the retractable roof of the Al Bayt football stadium in Quatar, Sarens, on behalf of the Italian construction company CIMOLAI, performed the lifting of this various elements using two crawler cranes.

The two machines were a Demag CC6800 crawler crane rigged in SWSL 78/84 configuration with 450t of superlift and 96m radius with a total load of 95t. The second cane was a Liebherr LR1750 rigged in SWSL 84/91 with 400t of superlift and 102m radius. Its total load was 29t.


This tandem lift had to be planned down to the smallest detail to take into account the pick-up position and travelling distance the cranes had to cover before drop-off. While the customer had planned to use three cranes to perform the lift, only two cranes were needed for the operation. It took Sarens two months to complete all the work on this site.

Marine Maroc uses Enerpac SL400 gantry to transport 130 t HP heaters

The international logistics company Marine Maroc has used its new Enerpac SL400 gantry to install high pressure heaters (HP heaters) of 130 t at the site of the Safi coal-fired power plant in Southwest Morocco. Marine Maroc was in charge of transporting the heaters from the port of Safi to the plant. Upon arrival at the plant, the Enerpac SL400 telescopic hydraulic gantry was deployed for the first time in order to lift them from hydraulic modular trailers.


Equipped with three stage lifting cylinders, the SL400 lifts up to 9.14 metres at the top of the third stage and can handle up to 408 ton at the top of the first stage. For Marine Maroc, the gantry is equipped with powered side shift units for ease of manoeuvring loads. In addition, the SL400 also features an Intelli-Lift wireless control system.


For Mohammed Belaidi, Technical Department at Marine Maroc: “The SL400 is an outstanding addition to our heavy lifting capability for many power plant projects where the gantry can be readily deployed both outside and inside the plant when space is limited.”


Ale contracted to lengthen a cruise ship in Palermo, Italy

Ale has been tasked to lengthen the Grimaldi Roma cruise ship in Palermo, Italy. To install the new section, weighing around 2,540 t, Ale deployed skid shoes varying from 500 t – 1,000 t capacity, along with 96 axle lines of SPMT in a configuration of 4 x 2 file 24. The new section was transported by SPMT’s, while the ship cut section, weighing around 10,500 t was skidded across skid tracks so the new section could be installed. The ship originally measured 225 m and once the new section was installed another 30 m was added onto the ship.
Ale has been contracted to lengthen two cruise ships, the Grimaldi Roma and Barcellona. The project started in late 2018 and is expected to be completed by the end of June 2019.