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PICTURES: Mammoet completes its role in construction of Ain Dubai

Mammoet took up the heavy lifting contract to install structural elements on the world’s tallest observation wheel in 2014

Mammoet completes its role in construction of Ain Dubai
Mammoet completes its role in construction of Ain Dubai

Netherlands-headquartered engineered heavy lifting and transport firm Mammoet has successfully completed its role in the construction of Ain Dubai, the world’s tallest observation wheel.

Developed by master developer Meraas, Ain Dubai sits on Bluewaters in the heart of Dubai and once operational, it will provide residents and visitors views of the Dubai city and its shoreline.

Mammoet’s journey with Ain Dubai began in 2014, when the main contractor on the project Hyundai Engineering & Construction (HDEC), awarded it the heavy lifting contract to install the key structural elements of the wheel.

Since it was involved in the early stages of the project, Mammoet presented an installation method that delivered greater efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

The firm proposed installing the largest elements, the legs and spindle, directly from the barge, which arrived at the foundations with two super heavy lift cranes. This eliminated the need for temporary storage, multiple barge transports, and working at extreme heights.

Lifting the 125m-long, 890T legs of Ain Dubai

In 2016, Mammoet successfully positioned Ain Dubai’s four legs onto their foundations and lifted the spindle. The legs and the spindle were prefabricated offsite by others before being transported by barge to the installation site, which saved time and improved safety.

In doing this, Mammoet also reduced the number of barge trips required and each component was built safely at ground level before being lifted into place.

Lifting 1900T Spindle off Mammoet barge

Each of the 890-ton legs measured 126m in length and 6.5m in diameter. They were rolled onto Mammoet’s barge using 40-axle lines of SPMT at the fabrication yard in Abu-Dhabi.

Once on the barge, the legs were securely floated to the site.

For the installation, Mammoet paired the world’s biggest crane – PTC 200-DS – a 5000-tonne ring crane, with a 3000-tonne (T) crawler crane. Together they ensured the stability and flexibility required to lift each leg and the spindle from the barge into position, whilst working 137m above the ground.

Mammoet set a world record by lifting the 1,900T spindle to sit on top of the four legs: it was the world’s heaviest and highest tandem lift ever completed.

World’s heaviest and highest tandem lift ever completed

Following the positioning of the legs and the spindle, Mammoet lifted eight rim pieces and temporary spokes.

The 3000T crawler crane was the only crane capable of carrying out these lifts. Its high capacity combined with its long lift radius could meet the distance between the barge and the installation point and lift each 700T section in one motion, without the need to set them down or reconfigure the crane.

Lifting rim sections

Over a period of three and a half months, Mammoet supported the removal of the temporary spokes until all eight temporary spokes were disconnected from the wheel. Each 112m-long spoke, weighing 470T, was lifted off the structure in tandem by Mammoet’s 600T and 400T crawler cranes.

Temporary spokes being picked up by crawler cranes

Commenting on the incident-free delivery, commercial director at Mammoet Middle East and Africa, Michel Bunnik, said: “Having been involved in the construction of many of the UAE’s iconic landmarks, such as Burj Al Arab and its expansion, Dubai Metro, Dubai Mall, and the luxury Five hotel on Palm Jumeirah island, we are pleased to add another one to our successes in the Middle East.”

Bunnik added: “Engineering capabilities, operational excellence, and the remarkable cooperation of the entire project team ensured that the project was delivered successfully and incident-free.”

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