Four Manitowoc Crane Care technicians were challenged with mounting a Manitowoc 18000 crawler crane to a barge — while the barge was still under construction.Four Manitowoc Crane Care technicians were challenged with mounting a Manitowoc 18000 crawler crane to a barge — while the barge was still under construction. The vessel will eventually work on a Liquefied Natural Gas project in India, but is being built at a shipyard in Dubai, UAE. The Crane Care team was sent from Manitowoc’s Dubai facility. The Manitowoc 18000 and barge both belong to Afcons, one of India’s leading infrastructure companies. The crane has a 750 t capacity and will be working with a 97 m main boom on the LNG field Afcons is developing for the Gujarat State Petroleum Company.Before the pedestal-mounting could begin, all workers from Manitowoc Crane Care and Afcons were trained in the dock’s safety regulations and procedures. This involved preparing the equipment and materials in line with the facility’s requirements, and ensuring all workers received additional safety training. Communication between Manitowoc Crane Care, Afcons and the port authorities was crucial in ensuring work progressed to schedule.With safety clearance granted, work on the installation began. Engineers from Manitowoc drafted specific installation plans as construction took place in dry dock. The engineers also had to consider that the barge deck was a full 6 m above ground level. This is much higher than when installing a pedestal-mounted crane on water.First stage for the work was installing the custom-built pedestal on the barge deck. With this in place, the Manitowoc Crane Care team installed the slew ring and upper works of the crane. This was followed by the mast and counterweight before the full main boom was installed. The entire process took 20 days for the team of 10 workers.K Radesh, Project Manager, Afcons, said the smooth installation of the 18000 helped the barge build stay on schedule. “On major jobs, such as this, there are often additional challenges, such as conforming with local regulations or fitting around other work schedules,” he said. “That’s what the guys at Manitowoc Crane Care really understand, and that’s why we continue to turn to them for our lifting equipment.”The 18000 is the largest Manitowoc crane in the Afcons fleet. Other models in the fleet include the 4000W, 4100W, 3900W, 8500, 10000, 14000 and 999 cranes with capacities ranging from 80 T to the 750 T Manitowoc 18000.After work on the barge is complete, it will be towed 1,600 km to India where it will spend 16 months at the Mundra LNG terminal in northwestern India. It will build offloading facilities and a jetty, and most of its duties will involve placing steel piles and lifting precast structures of up to 100T. Developed by Gujarat State Petroleum Company, one of India’s leading oil and gas companies, the LNG terminal will cover more than 28 hectares of reclaimed land. The site will be operational in 2014.