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News Release

Potain cranes building nuclear power plant in sub-zero Russia

12/7/2012

Potain cranes are working up to 24 hours a day in freezing conditions at a €25 billion nuclear power plant in central Russia. The 12 cranes, which include top-slewing models plus a self-erecting crane, are lifting pre-cast concrete sections, formwork and other construction materials, while some of the more unusual loads for the cranes include armor-plated doors that will secure the power station’s most sensitive areas at the highly complex six-year project.

The cranes were selected to build the fourth reactor at the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Station because of their known reliability, even in extreme conditions, and Potain’s experience on other nuclear power station projects. The isolated location, potentially dangerous work and vast area covered by the project called for durable and effective equipment.

Jean-Claude Doucene, Manitowoc’s commercial director for Russia and CIS countries, said the cranes had undertaken a long journey to reach the job site.

“These cranes have been working effectively on site since 2007, although we had to transport them close to 6,000 km from the factories in France and Portugal to the project,” he said. “Their main task is helping with structural work, lifting concrete, rebar and formwork. The cranes will stay on the 800 MW fourth reactor project until it finishes in 2013. At that time, if financing has been secured for the next reactor in the project, the cranes will transfer to that site.”

Temperatures in the town of Zarechniy, Beloyarsk region, where the construction site is located, can reach close to minus 40 degrees centigrade in winter and the ground is snow-covered from October until April. To deal with the cold, the cranes are fitted with special cold weather kits, which include insulated cabs and additional heating.

Because of the scale and complexity of the project, work continues at the job site 24/7.

One of the heaviest lifts for the cranes is of armor-plated doors, used for containment. Some of these doors, which weigh up to 18 t, are lifted by Potain cranes, pushing them to their maximum capacity.

The cranes in use at the project include five MDT 178s, three MD 208 As, two MDT 218s and an MD 238 A. There is also a 4 t capacity Igo 50 self-erecting crane. The tower cranes offer capacities of up to 10 t and are all configured with maximum jib lengths.

The Beloyarsk power plant consists of five separate reactors, three of which are complete (although two were shut down some years ago). One is being built using the Potain cranes and work is scheduled to begin next year on the fifth unit.


About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
Founded in 1902, The Manitowoc Company, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of cranes and lifting solutions with manufacturing, distribution, and service facilities in 20 countries. In the United States, the Grove, Manitowoc, National Crane, Potain and Shuttlelift brands are sold and serviced by Grove US, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Manitowoc Company, Inc. In 2018, Manitowoc’s net sales totaled $1.8 billion, with over half generated outside the United States.
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