The deck cargo ship BigLift Barentsz has recently left the Liebherr site at the port of Rostock with two remarkable, giant crane components ready for installation.

The white painted slewing platform, as well as the characteristic A-frame of the upcoming Liebherr Heavy Lift Crane HLC 150000, are now on their way to being assembled on OHT’s next-generation offshore wind foundation vessel Alfa Lift. With its unique combination of features, the Liebherr HLC series will be a key element for installing current and future wind farms around the world.

Following their arrival in China, the slewing platform and the A-frame will be the first crane sections to be assembled on the Ulstein designed offshore installation vessel Alfa Lift. The slewing platform and the A-frame will be assembled on Alfa Lift at the shipyard of China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI) in the province of Jiangsu, close to Shanghai. When the installation of the two components is finalized, the boom will be delivered just-in-time to complete the HLC 150000.

“The crane can only be assembled and installed once the vessel has reached a specific phase in its construction. Therefore, the manufacturing timelines are finely balanced between Liebherr, OHT, and CHMI,” said Gregor Levold, Sales Director of Ship and Offshore Cranes at Liebherr Rostock. “Another important element of the partnership with OHT is our support and guidance for the initial setup of the crane onboard Alfa Lift. A team of Liebherr specialists will travel to China to support this part of the operation.”

With a maximum lifting capacity of 3,000 tonnes at 30 metres and 1,000 tonnes at 76 metres outreach, the HLC 150000 is ready for a wide range of applications. In general, the Liebherr HLC series design is characterized by a small footprint. The slew bearing diameter of the HLC 150000 is just 14 metres, consequently, the crane requires little space on deck and offers more storage space. Due to the special slip ring configuration, the HLC has a 360degree unlimited slewing range.

In addition, the Liebherr HLC’s foldable A-frame reduces the height of the crane as needed. “Unlike many other crane vessels of this size, the Alfa Lift will be able to navigate waters crossed by bridges. This feature reduces transit-time, for instance when the vessel enters the Baltic Sea crossing the Storebaltsbroen in Denmark,” said Gregor Levold. “The foldable Aframe provides more flexibility, which in turn leads to both operational and cost-efficiency, increasing the number of charter days and vessel availability.”

For faster maintenance during operation, all components of the HLC are safely accessible via stairs and platforms. A key element of the maintenance concept is the integrated telescopic knuckle boom crane that is capable of lifting up to six tonnes. This service crane allows the exchange of the heaviest single components without the help of an external crane. This means comfortable, fast, economical maintenance is guaranteed, independent of the vessel location.

“Customers for this type of crane have very high quality and reliability demands, which we can meet and exceed”, said Gregor Levold. “Our cranes are made in Europe with strong partners within the Liebherr Group as well as proven and reliable external suppliers. Main components like winches, slew bearing, and slewing drives of the crane are designed and manufactured by other Liebherr companies. This results in an independent supply chain and guaranteed availability of components.”

Alfa Lift will start operating in the North Sea in 2022 with the HLC 150000 onboard. The vessel’s first project will be the construction of Dogger Bank A windfarm.

By Jake Frith