100th jack-up for ALE’s Mega Jack 300

ALE’s Mega Jack 300 completed its 100th jack-up on the Al-Zafour refinery project in Kuwait, which is expected to become one of the largest in the world. ALE is providing the full onshore heavylifting solution for the Fluor Daweoo and Hyundai JV’s module strategy, performing the jack-up, transportation and installation of 188 modules.

The Mega Jack 300 was launched last year and with its 300t capacity it is the latest edition to ALE’s Mega Jack fleet. The Al-Zour Oil Refinery is its first operation. The Mega Jack 300 commenced work on the project in 2018 and previous lifts have included the longest and highest module ever jacked-up and installed in Kuwait.

Sarkis Juvelekian, Project Site Manager, explained, “The Mega Jack 300 is an ideal lifting solution for projects like this that need flexibility and speed from onsite equipment. The system is performing well, even in conditions with high utilisation in environments as harsh as Kuwait’s extreme heat and dust.”

The Al-Zour complex is divided into three projects and includes a refinery, liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing facilities, and a petrochemicals complex. The Al-Zour Oil Refinery’s completion is planned for 2020 and it is expected to deliver 615,000 barrels per day.

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.

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.

Mammoet announces the acquisition of ALE

The two companies specialized in engineered heavy lifting and transport have just announced the signing of an agreement for the acquisition of ALE by Mammoet.

Paul van Gelder, CEO of Mammoet, said: “We are very happy with this agreement. Mammoet and ALE complement each other in geographical presence on all continents. Together, we have a well-balanced portfolio of activities worldwide. This enables us to improve our service proposition and create synergies, as we are able to mobilize equipment and personnel swiftly anywhere. Last but not least, Mammoet and ALE both have a strong legacy in innovations which, once combined, will enable us to grow as a technologically leading player.

Mark Harries, Group Managing Director of ALE added: “Mammoet and ALE share a strong ambition to be leading in the engineered heavy lifting and transport sector. Both companies have a strong track record and are renowned for their craftsmanship, innovations and fleet of equipment. We both have shaped the profession of heavy lifting and transport through numerous innovations in the past decades. The prospect of the two companies joining forces is very exciting.”

The closing of the transaction is subject to approval of the relevant competition authorities. Until then, the two companies will continue to operate strictly independently.

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.

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.

Ale optimises project costs on steel mill plant in Mexico

The heavy lift specialist Ale was contracted to lift modules, ranging from roof panels to plant modules including several items that were weighing up to 300t each (330 US tons) as a part of a bigger construction project for a new steel mill plant in Silao, located within the northern state of Guanajuato, Mexico. To execute this lifts Ale used a Liebherr LR11350 crawler crane, maximum lift capacity of 1,350 ton, with P boom. According to the heavy lift services provider, by using this configuration, they were able to minimise congestion on site and enable construction work to continue. As the client to continue other work without crane pad interfering, overall project costs and build schedules were optimized.

Ale increases its Mega Jack 300 fleet

The heavy lift and transport specialist Ale has recently expanded its Mega Jack 300 fleet.  Launched in 2018, the system was designed in-house by Ale’s R&D department for a cost-effective solution to jack-up heavy modules on sites where space is restricted or congested in short periods of time. According to Ale, the latest jacking innovation is a compact and versatile system that enables site optimisation and project efficiency, offering a superior solution to traditional climbing jacks, in a wide variety of applications.

This innovation has already been used to jack-up hundreds of pipe rack modules over 5m high in Kuwait.

The system will be delivered to Ale’s UK branch, expanding the global fleet of the group to over 20 towers.

“We are delighted to have this innovative system operating in the UK. We have secured several civil projects where this system is ideally suited; it will demonstrate the system’s strength and capabilities to optimise project schedules,” said Russ Jones, Director-UK.

ALE moves a 450t substation support tower in Spain

In Navarra, Spain, ALE has been requested by Nabrawind Technologies to find a bespoke engineering solution in order to heighten the prototype of the Nabralift self-erecting tower, one of the world’s highest wind towers. To move this 160m high and 450t tower, ALE used 12 axle lines of SPMT and 3 strand jack units for the heightening. “By providing this customised solution, our client can now how the means of developing onshore wind farms in the most cost and time effective method ever through possible. This is game-changing technology, specifically for those located on difficult-to-reach islands or mountainous sites. From our findings, we are already developing engineering processes to fulfil the requirements of future large-scale installations with an aim to develop two towers a week,” explained Project Engineer David Arias Blanco.

This project ended in September with ongoing discussions about future use of this prototype and technology. ALE was working alongside the client to develop the methodology used for this prototype for the future production of ind towers from 2019.