12/01/2016 Safety first – "Open-heart surgery" on a natural gas treatment plant

The 22-metre flare pipe is placed on the sub-structure by the LTM 1500-8.1 with a hook height of around 100 metres.

The 22-metre flare pipe is placed on the sub-structure by the LTM 1500-8.1 with a hook height of around 100 metres.

A job carried out by an LTM 1500-8.1 operated by Hüffermann Krandienst in Northern Germany featured a high level of safety precautions. A refurbished gas flare had to be erected at a height of around 100 metres at the ExxonMobil natural gas treatment plant in Grossenkneten. In addition to the large eight-axle crane, two additional Liebherr mobile cranes were used for the setup and adjustment work.

The plant is located around 40 kilometres to the west of Bremen and is designed to purify and treat the natural gas before it can be used. As for all ExxonMobil plants, the safety requirements for working on the site in Grossenkneten are very high. Gas detectors and protective filters are mandatory for everybody as are generous lifting capacity reserves for crane work. In normal conditions, the assembly work on the gas flare supervised by Euro-Rigging could have been completed using a smaller mobile crane. Since, however, 25 percent more lifting capacity must be available in reserve, the 500-tonne Liebherr mobile crane was the machine of choice for Hüffermann's Project Manager Klaus Flege.

The capacity of the plant had been reduced for the duration of the crane work for safety reasons and a large area around the site had been cordoned off.