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Back in 2017, as part of the energy reforms in Mexico, the “Miguel Hidalgo” oil refinery in Tula started its modernization. Mexican crane contractor ESEASA carried out the hoisting work on behalf of construction contractor ICA Flour, using three Liebherr crawler cranes. They included the largest conventional crawler crane in the world, the LR 13000. The crane job at the refinery comprised hoisting six tanks into position. Each of the tanks had a net weight of 685 USt (620 t). In a configuration with a 432 ft (132 m) main boom, including PowerBoom and the derrick boom together with 1,900 USt (1.725 t) of ballast, the crawler crane managed to complete the work with plenty in reserve. Today the tanks are used to store the carbon produced during the production process at the refinery. After the job was finished in 2018, the massive crane has shown up in Tampico.
Steel colossus on the hook
Tampico is on the Gulf of Mexico and is a major industrial center with its own port. A large number of industrial companies have made their homes on the banks of the Rio Pánuco, to enable them to ship their freight down the river to the sea. ESEASA also has a company site directly on the banks of the waterway. The company manufactured twelve oil platforms there for state oil group PEMEX. These were hoisted onto barges by the LR 13000 before being transported to the south of the Gulf of Mexico. The loads for hoisting were gigantic. Up to 1,350 USt (1.200 t) had to be positioned on the barges using a radius of up to 125 ft (38 m). The 3,300 USt (3,000 t) crawler crane is ideal for this work and delivers significant benefits compared to the previous method for loading oil platforms. Normally the heavy components are loaded onto SPMTs (self-propelled modular transporters) using jackup systems and then driven onto the barge on them. This takes around 18 hours.
Loading the enormous steel structures using the LR 13000 took just three hours as the barge could be secured alongside the quay instead of right-angled position that would have closed the canal. Tugs were required in order to significantly save time and money, and the canal could be left open for shipping. Since no heavy SPMTs had to drive onto the barge with the steel components, smaller barges could be used, therefore also reducing costs. Aldo Santos, Owner of ESEASA along with his four brothers, was delighted: “Loading the massive components using the Liebherr LR 13000 worked perfectly and is significantly more economical than our previous procedure. The extremely short time required is extraordinary.”
Direct line and excellent service
Santos always appreciates having a direct line to Liebherr and its reliable service around the clock. “We require competent service and fast solutions for our projects. We cannot accept delays, we need solutions on the day,” explains Santos. “Liebherr provides us with excellent support and also ensures that well trained technicians are normally available. We also appreciate the high quality of Liebherr cranes.” The main areas of work for ESEASA include the energy sector, such as petrochemicals and wind power. Just recently the LR 13000 was assembled for another heavy load job at the Refineria Dos Bocas, close to Villahermosa in the South of Mexico – again a successful display by this massive crane.
After the purchase of SEVEN Rough Terrain Cranes in 2021, having achieved many successful projects and being satisfied with Liebherr as a manufacturer, ESEASA ordered five more rough terrain cranes and two all-terrain cranes from Liebherr at the 2022 Bauma in Munich, Germany. The new LRT 1130-2.1 rough terrain crane, also exhibited at the 2023 Conexpo, is included with three units in the order. Shortly before Bauma, in spring 2022, Santos and his company already enlarged the fleet in the rough terrain crane segment with five LRT 1090-2.1 and two LRT 1100-2.1 models. The order at Bauma also included two all-terrain cranes, an LTM 1120-4.1 and an LTM 1250-5.1.
“We chose the LRT 1130-2.1 because it has enormously strong load-bearing capacities and can still be easily transported on public roads. ESEASA plans to use the new cranes primarily in the construction of new refineries. We have been buying Liebherr cranes for a long time and have hardly had any problems. The units are sophisticated and retain their value very well. We appreciate the similar operating principle across all crane types. Liebherr’s after-sales service is outstanding. That's why we decided to buy from Liebherr again,” explains Santos. ESEASA’s head office is located in Mexico City. Over the years, ESEASA has specialized in engineering, logistics and crane assembly for large projects in Central America and the USA. The company has an 800-strong workforce and a total of over 400 cranes of every conceivable type.