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Liebherr crane erects first wind turbine in KSA

Dammam’s Gulf Haulage Heavy Lift Company uses Liebherr LR 1750 crawler crane to lift 410 tonnes of components for Saudi Arabia’s very first commercial wind turbine

GHHL directs the Liebherr LR 1750 crawler crane as it lifts the 60m long rotor blades as a single unit.
GHHL directs the Liebherr LR 1750 crawler crane as it lifts the 60m long rotor blades as a single unit.

Dammam-based heavy haulage and heavy lift contractor Gulf Haulage Heavy Lift Company (GHHL) has erected the very first commercial wind turbine in Saudi Arabia using a Liebherr LR 1750 crawler crane.

The wind turbine, located in Turaif in the northeast of Saudi Arabia, has a total weight of 410 tonnes and will generate power for a bulk plant facility operated by state oil company Saudi Aramco. The tower is 84m high with 60m long blade and a nacelle (turbine housing unit) weighing 83 tonnes.

The project is an important first step for wind energy in Saudi Arabia, and for Saudi Aramco’s ambitious plans to deliver 9,500MW of renewable energy as part of Saudi Arabia’s vision for the year 2030.

The challenge in the case of the project in Turaif was the transport of the 410 tonnes of wind turbine components from the industrial port of Jubail 1,250km away to the site.

In the event, the three blades, the nacelle and tower sections were transported in a convoy of tractor vehicles and special trailers over the distance in less than six days.

After the tower segments were assembled, the 83-tonne nacelle was installed at its operating height of 84m. Together with the installation of the blades, the erection of the entire wind turbine took just two days.

High wind speeds in the region complicated the planning process, but the team at GHHL completed the first project to erect a wind turbine in Saudi Arabia comfortably and safely.

With its wide range of boom systems, the Liebherr LR 1750 crawler crane is suitable for a large spectrum of applications and is used around the world to erect wind turbines.

Liebherr has also developed a number of boom systems especially for this purpose to meet the steadily growing demand from commercial wind farm operations, which are very common in both Germany and Switzerland.

As for GHHL, the company has 30 years’ of experience in heavy haulage and heavy lift contractors in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Its fleet includes cranes with a lifting capacity of up to 2,000 tonnes and a combined 300 axles of components for making up modular and self-propelled heavy  goods trailers.

Also in Saudi Arabia, Liebherr opened a newly erected facility in Dammam in late 2016 to strengthen the sales and service staff of its cranes, foundation work and concrete technology product divisions in the east of the country.

The timing could hardly be better, as Aramco has already plans in place for a further 300MW- to 400MW-capacity wind project. 

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