13 Sep 2019

World's largest crane finally in place at Hinkley Point C - and it's HUGE

World's largest crane finally in place at Hinkley Point C - and it's HUGE

It has been four years in the making ' but finally the world's largest crane is in position and primed to start work tomorrow at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

The giant structure only takes four workers to operate, but its 12 engines can power the lifting of up to 5,000 tonnes in a single lift, the equivalent of 400 doubledecker London buses or ten Boeing 747 jumbo jets.

Its height can go up to a massive 820ft, three times as high as the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol.

Charged with putting into place huge sections of steel containment liners at the station's two reactors, only the SGC-250 crane, built by Belgium company Sarens, will do.

But what about the task of operating the crane from its modest-sized cabin?

'Its all just part of the job, really,' said Martin Redmond, who then breaks into a smile when its put to him he will be operating a world record-breaking machine.

'It is our task to assist the building of the two reactors, and we need something as big as this to move the heavy parts into place.'

The crane has been nicknamed Big Carl after Carl Sarens, the director of solutions at Sarens, who has looked after the project since the death of his father Benny last year.

It was transported to the power station near Bridgwater in 260 parts from Antwerp in Belgium before being put together by workers at the site over the past six months.

Due to its weight, up to 1,600 tonnes, it is moved along four miles of railway track which has three stops, each serving the two reactors being built with 12 miles of steel rope.

The concrete base to the first reactor was completed earlier this year and now the crane will begin moving in components from a 'bunker' opposite where they are built under factory conditions.

Martin Westbury, construction director for civil contractor BYLOR, said the crane would be doing more than 700 'lifts' with each one taking up to four hours to complete.

For the crane to turn 360 degrees, it takes 40 minutes.''

Take a look at the photos below.

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Source: Somerset Live


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