Home > Kennards lift and shift help to raise a ‘monster from the deep’

Kennards lift and shift help to raise a ‘monster from the deep’

Supplier News
article image Modular spreader beam used in tunnel boring machine project

Kennards Lift and Shift have provided a large, modular spreader beam for a delicate operation in which a submerged, 98 tonne tunnel boring machine (TBM) was lifted from the waters of Botany Bay. The operation was designed and co-supervised by Nobles and carried out by Melrose Cranes.

What made the job so unusual was that the seven sections of the TBM had to be lifted independently to avoid any load being placed on the joins, which could have damaged seals and allowed water to penetrate.

Gary Stewart, from the big lifts division of Nobles, said the job had created international interest. “We understand from Herrenknecht AG, the manufacturer, that it may be the first time a tunnel borer has been lifted from under the water, and they have sought details,” he said.

Underwater complications created extra difficulty with the operation, which delayed the lift and led to a race against time as the wind strengthened, the tide rose and darkness approached. However, with sunset only minutes away and winds reaching about 10 knots, “monster from the deep” emerged from the bay without damage and was placed on a temporary dock.

The modular spreader beam hired from Kennards Lift & Shift is the largest ever manufactured in Australia. It can be varied in length up to 20 metres and has a maximum load capacity of 145 tonne at 13.5m, while at 20 metres it can lift up to 76 tonne.

Gary said the operation was “a great team effort,” involving the Nobles team, Melrose Cranes crew, MCB Partnership (McConnell Dowell / Bovis Lend Lease joint venture) personnel, external subcontractors and Kennards Lift & Shift.

The tunnel borer was 17 metres long, 2.4 metres in diameter and the weight of the seven sections ranged from 4.9 tonne to 27 tonne.

Nobles was asked to design, supply and rig the lifting arrangement, and to assist in the supervision of the lift by MCB Partnership, part of the Water Delivery Alliance which is building the 18km pipeline to connect the desalination plant to Sydney’s water supply system at Erskineville.

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