Two Liebherr LR1600/2 crawler cranes are being used by wind power specialist Vestas to erect four windmills at a site in the Kutch district of Gujarat.Windpower specialist Vestas India is using two new Liebherr LR1600/2 crawler cranes to erect four wind turbines at a site in Gujarat. The 600-tonne capacity cranes are owned by heavy-lift rental specialist Shethia Erectors & Material Handlers of Mumbai and were supplied new by the mobile cranes division of Liebherr India, earlier this year. India's wind potential is huge and supportive government policy at both national and state levels mean that wind power is seen as a key ingredient of the country's future energy mix. The Gujarat state government has recently unveiled a new policy to encourage solar and wind energy development. Half the area of Kutch, one of India's largest districts, is desert, scrub and marshland, and in recent years, has become home to a large number of wind farms. Denmark-based Vestas has been in India since 1997, and employs almost 1,000 people there. Headquartered in Chennai, Vestas produces 600 turbines a year to a completely modular design, the units being trucked to the site where they are assembled. To date, nine windmills with 1.8 MW capacity have been installed at Vandhiya by a venture between Vestas India and Sustainable Energy Australasia Ltd and will form a 16.2 MW wind farm on a high plain of scrubland where there are already a number of other wind farms. These turbines will be connected by an internal 33 kV overhead line which in turn would be connected to 33 kV/132 kV and 33 kV/220 kV switchgear substations at Surajbari and Jangi respectively. Vestas India's Construction Manager on the site, Shashikant Tiwari says that erecting each windmill takes between three and four days at the maximum, although two days is an achievable target under the most favourable conditions. "The height of the turbine is 95 m," he says. "The boom on the crane is 96 m, and we have a 12 m fly jib. That gives us a comfortable 108 m to work with." Tiwari says that the windmill tower is in four units, the first weighing 68 tonne, the second 67 tonne, the third 42 tonne and the last section weighs 24 tonne. "Lifting these into position with the Liebherr is a straightforward operation," he says. "The heaviest part of the windmill is the nacelle and hub mounted together, which weighs 99 tonne, but again the crane has no difficulty in lifting and positioning this." The three blades each weigh around 6 tonne, and are lifted one by one and fitted into the hub once the nacelle erection has been completed."Tiwari confirms that the first of the cranes arrived on site late in February this year, the second arriving in March following the Bauma India exhibition. The first phase of the project comprising nine turbines has been completed and the cranes have been deployed to another wind farm project which will have 63 turbines in the same area.