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News Release

Potain cranes help on major Russian oil and gas project

2/16/2011 Sakhalin Island, Russia

Five Potain tower cranes are helping to build a large structure that is part of an oil platform for Russia’s busy Arkutun-Dagi field, which is off the coast of Sakhalin Island.

Construction giant Aker Solutions is building the largest concrete gravity-based substructure made in Russia, for customer Exxon Neftegas Ltd. The structure is constructed of concrete and will use gravity and water chambers to support a platform for extracting oil and gas.

The cranes are lifting formwork, rebar, concrete buckets, mechanical equipment and pipe work. The heaviest loads are the pipe work, weighing up to 8 t. The substructure is being built at a dry dock in Nakhodka, 180 km from Vladivostok, and will be towed to its offshore resting place once construction is complete.

Bjorn Rognlien, engineering manager for Aker Solutions, said it is vital that the project is completed on time and to the highest standard.

“The key challenges on this project are keeping work on schedule and meeting the quality requirements,” he said. “Although these apply to most projects, on this job, they are magnified. If construction is delayed, bad weather will prevent us from transporting the structure to it final destination. This weather is some of the world’s most extreme conditions, and the quality of the structure has to be of the highest quality to withstand the environment.”

There are four Potain MD 485 B cranes and an MDT 218 A from Potain’s topless city crane range working at the Nakhodka yard. The owner of the dry dock, ZAO “Rosdorsnabzhenie,” owns the cranes and is renting them to Aker Solutions. The cranes arrived in February and March of 2010. The four MD 485 B cranes were assembled in April, and the MDT 218 A began working in August.

All of the MD 485 B cranes are mounted on 2.45 m x 2.45 m mast sections, and each have a maximum capacity of 20 t. One crane is working with a 70 m jib, while the others are configured with 65 m jibs. Working heights for the MD 485 B cranes range up to 83.9 m. The MDT 218 A is rail-mounted to allow it to move around the dry dock. This crane is mounted on 2 m x 2 m mast sections and is working with a jib of 50 m and at a working height of 27 m.

Michail Vdovin, head of crane and lifting operations for Aker Solutions, said the cranes have been performing well.

“We made the right choice in selecting Potain cranes for this project,” he said. “So far, they have worked great, even though the lifting schedule is demanding. Potain cranes are helping us stick to the tight construction schedule.”

Potain cranes were selected for this project for their ability to perform under pressure and for their reputation for reliability, specifically in harsh environments. The cranes were sold through Manitowoc’s Moscow office and will be supported throughout their time in Nakhodka by Manitowoc Crane Care.

Jean-Claude Doucene, Manitowoc’s sales director for tower cranes in Russia and CIS, said the customer wanted to be sure that cranes on this project had the best possible support.

“Timing is crucial on this job, so the customer wanted cranes that were reliable and had the necessary support to handle any problems.” he said. “Starting in November, the waters around Sakhalin Island begin to freeze and will stay frozen until around May. So to navigate the structure properly, the cranes will have to finish their work by the end of 2011.”

When complete, the substructure will weigh 53,000 t and will be sunk at a depth of 33.6 m below sea level. It will include 52,300 m3 of concrete and 19,300 t of rebar. The Arkutun-Dagi field is one of three in the Sakhalin-1 project. The Sakhalin-1 project will cost an estimated $10-12 billion, making it the largest ever direct investment in Russia by an external source, in this case, Exxon-Neftgas.
About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) was founded in 1902 and has over a 117-year tradition of providing high-quality products and support services that are tailored to customers’ needs. Its 2019 net sales were approximately $1.83 billion. Manitowoc is one of the world's leading providers of engineered lifting solutions. Through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Manitowoc designs, manufactures, markets and supports comprehensive product lines of mobile telescopic cranes, tower cranes, lattice-boom crawler cranes, boom trucks and industrial cranes under the Grove, Potain, Manitowoc, National Crane, Shuttlelift and Manitowoc Crane Care brand names.
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