Tower Crane builds enormous pylon

A bridge spanning some 48 kilometres has been completed within around four years in the Arab Emirate of Kuwait and now connects Kuwait City with Subiyah. Liebherr Tower Cranes was awarded the order to provide the crane for the construction of the striking Hyundai pylon in the middle of the bay there.

A striking bridge in Kuwait

A striking bridge in Kuwait

The bridge, which bears the rather complicated name of a sheikh, has the official name “Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad AlSabah Causeway”. This cable-stayed bridge is now the main transport route between Kuwait City and the Subiyah region to the north of Kuwait Bay. The project cost billions and has reduced the travel time between the two places from around two hours to between 20 and 25 minutes.

The team finds a solution for pylon construction

The objective was clear: We had to build an exquisite pylon in the centre of Kuwait Bay. The initial technical discussions between several Liebherr companies and our customer, Hyundai Engineering and Construction (HDEC), started at the be ginning of 2016. After months of talks, elaborations and technical inspections, for example taking into account the foundation and suspension loads, the Liebherr Tower Crane Solutions Department suggested a 550 EC-H 40 Litronic for the job. It was configured with a jib length of 41.5 metres and a lifting capacity at the jib head of 17.7 tonnes. A 500 HC tower system was selected for the challenging erection work on the narrow deck of the cable-stayed bridge in the centre of Kuwait Bay, around 30 metres above the water level. This meant that the high-top crane had to be tied onto just two levels of the pylon’s structural steelwork. These tie-ins were planned and designed precisely to stabilise the crane for the subsequent climbing stages and so as not to adversely affect the aesthetics of the pylon.

Completed according to plan

In addition to selecting the crane, planning the erection and logistics was also part of the process as was the maintenance of the crane using our service package. In fact, we ensured that the crane was delivered direct to Kuwait by our Liebherr company in Saudi Arabia.

The erection work on site started in April 2017. The crane components were transported to the pylon using a pontoon. The team used a floating crawler crane to erect the 550 EC-H. The biggest challenge was the swaying crawler crane in the water, together with gusts of wind and the lack of space on the deck of the bridge. However, the experienced Liebherr service technicians managed to overcome all these problems to ensure that the erection work was completed smoothly to the satisfaction of all concerned.

In total, the tower crane was in action for 18 months and ultimately reached a final hook height of 161 metres above sea level – 129 metres above the deck of the bridge. The individual climbing stages were monitored by our specialists stationed in Dubai to ensure that the job ran smoothly without any incidents.

As a result of our reliable overall package, we at the Tower Cranes Division helped to ensure that this challenging major project was completed early and the Hyundai pylon now decorates Kuwait Bay.