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Petrochem plant enlists Manitowoc's largest crane

A 2,300-tonne capacity Manitowoc 31000 has placed two reactors at the S-Oil petrochemical facility in Ulsan, South Korea

Chunjo estimates that, compared to its nearest competitor, the Manitowoc 31000 offered a 70% space saving at the S-Oil petrochemical plant
Chunjo estimates that, compared to its nearest competitor, the Manitowoc 31000 offered a 70% space saving at the S-Oil petrochemical plant

A Manitowoc 31000 crawler crane has placed two reactors at the S-Oil petrochemical plant in Ulsan, South Korea.

Despite being the largest model in the US manufacturer’s line-up – with a capacity of 2,300 tonnes – the 31000 was able to operate on the confined worksite through the use of Manitowoc’s patented Variable Position Counterweight (VPC) system.

The crawler lifted the reactors, which weighed 800 tonnes and 400 tonnes respectively, using 70% less space than would be required by its nearest competitor, according to Manitowoc.

Jang Hwan Chang, chairman of the 31000’s owner and operator, Chunjo Construction, said: “When we first spoke with Daelim, there were several options being considered, but once the true difficulty of the lift work became apparent, the 31000 was a clear favourite and probably the only realistic option.

“And these two lifts have been such a success that plant engineers at S-Oil are now looking at future expansion plans and designing larger modules that can take advantage of the 31000’s capabilities. This crane will help S-Oil save time and money on future expansion plans, delivering true value to the customer,” he explained.

When planning the space requirements for the crane on site, Chunjo found that the closest competitor to the Manitowoc 31000 required an operating area of over 1,200m2. In comparison, the footprint of the VPC-equipped 31000 was 336m2.

The VPC, which is suspended from the rear of the crane, operates laterally behind the rotating bed to boost lift capacity. Having the counterweight suspended from the crane, and not fitted to a mobile tray, meant far less ground preparation and lower onsite costs for the Chunjo team.

“This job really underlined the true capabilities of the 31000,” added Chang. “It is more economical, requires less preparation, and causes less disruption than alternatives.”

Now that its work at the S-Oil petrochemical plant is over, Chunjo’s 31000 is being prepared for transportation to Vietnam, where it will perform its next heavy lift in August 2015.

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