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Liebherr sells first set of knuckle boom cranes to China

06th May 2015

Recently, Liebherr offshore crane division has signed a ground-breaking contract with its long-time partner Dalian Shipyard (DSIC Offshore)

Liebherr RL-K 4200-100 LIT is testing the riser yoke on the test bed of Liebherr MCCtec-Rostock GmbH in Rostock, Germany.

Two state-of-the-art ram luffing knuckle boom cranes of the type RL-K 4200-100 LIT will be delivered for the new high-level semi-submersible BT 4000. 

“We have already successfully delivered around 40 machines to DSIC to date, but this contract marks a new milestone for us at the Chinese offshore market,” says Gordon Clark, Sales Director of the Liebherr offshore crane division.

The cranes will have a maximum lifting capacity of up to 100 tonnes and will mainly be used for pipe-handling and supporting works on-board of the modern semi-submersible. However, the cranes may also be used for lifting goods from supply vessels to the platform – even under rough sea conditions.

With its new foldable boom design, accuracy is a major feature of the RL-K, significantly reducing sway and swing motions of attached loads during all types of lifting operations. All movements are controlled by an updated version of Liebherr Litronic control system. It allows high-accuracy load manipulation including digital control, storage and follow-up of all lifting data.


(Liebherr RL-K 4200-100 LIT is testing the riser yoke on the test bed of Liebherr MCCtec-Rostock GmbH in Rostock, Germany.)


Innovative pipe-handling equipment

To top all this, the cranes will be equipped with the newly developed pipe- and load-manipulators called ‘gripper yoke’ and ‘riser yoke’. The main feature of this modern load/crane interface is the possibility to rotate the load +360 degrees and tilt it +10 degrees. This ensures a soft, high-precision landing, as well as a firm connection of the load with the crane during handling operations.


Modern test environment at Liebherr in Rostock

Currently, the cranes are being constructed at Liebherr`s modern facilities in the harbour city of Rostock, northern Germany. To support this new range of cranes, Liebherr developed an ultra-modern test environment to load and function-test the cranes before delivery in accordance with all relevant offshore regulations. This significantly reduces the risk of problems on the customer’s job site.

“It certainly gives you peace of mind to have the equipment accurately tested with our customer before shipment,” says Clark.

“With our excellent transport facilities in Rostock, such as a 300 meter deep-water-quay for sea-going vessels, loading the finished product on to an international carrier means to be a perfect partner for our world-wide client base,” he adds.

“Using products of a well-known partner, such as Liebherr, is significantly reducing our technical and commercial project risk. This is certainly a priceless advantage that keeps our worries at the lowest level possible,” comments Li ShaoXue, Dalian Shipyard (DSIC) Procurement Director. “Many of the processes between us and our partner Liebherr have been standardised. It’s much simpler to talk to friends.”

DSIC`s new BT 4000 semi-submersible is a new generation DP3-vessel designed for efficient, light work-over and well-intervention operations in water depths up to 2,400 metres in environmental offshore areas in Brazil, Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and South East Asia.

“The rig is intended for efficient and fast change-over between various well-intervention operations,” explains Li ShaoXue. “… and, certainly, the Liebherr knuckle boom crane perfectly accords with this philosophy.”


(Article by Alexander Moosbrugger, Liebherr offshore crane division)

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