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News Release

Two Potain special application cranes on $730 million dam


Two Potain MC 475 special application cranes are at the center of a major hydroelectric power project in India. Access to the job was a huge challenge, as steep valley walls and mountains surrounded the site and required careful planning when transporting the tower cranes. Upon completion, the new dam will span a remote section of the Alknanda River in Uttarakhand, northern India.

Apurba Kumar Mandal, territory service manager for Manitowoc Crane Care in India, was part of the team that moved and assembled the cranes. He said checking the roads and planning the route was the most difficult part.

“The roads leading to the jobsite are not designed for transporting heavy equipment, so our engineers checked that they were in good condition before shipping the cranes,” he said. “Monitoring ground conditions and planning the transport schedule was a large part of this job. But once on site, the cranes were easy to assemble. The connections are smooth and the modular design makes the assembly process logical and straightforward, even for such large cranes.”

The remote location in northern India also brings weather challenges with severe cold in winter followed by soaring heat in summer. In addition, heavy rains fall year-round, causing landslides and blocked roads.

A.K. Goel is equipment manager at Larsen & Toubro, the main contractor on the project and the company that owns the cranes. He said that because of the weather conditions and tough environment, the company wanted reliable, durable and proven equipment.

“Getting to the jobsite was a challenge, so we wanted to be certain the cranes were capable and reliable. Getting heavy vehicles back to site with replacement sections or mechanisms is not easy so we want to be sure there is minimal chance of that happening,” he said. “We know Potain cranes well, having used them for 25 years, so we understand their capabilities. Of course the cranes have needed servicing during their time on site, and we get great support from Manitowoc Crane Care.”

The 25 t cranes are lifting general construction materials to build the $730 million dam. The 4-year project will create a 330 MW hydroelectric power station. Managing all construction work is GVK Group, one of India’s largest project management companies, which in turn hired Larsen & Toubro as the main contractor.

The two Potain cranes were erected in October 2009 by technicians from L&T and Manitowoc Crane Care. Each has been ideally positioned for maximum reach, with one running on a 30 m track for additional coverage.

The cranes are lifting a variety of materials and equipment for the dam, which will measure 285 m across and 92 m tall. They are helping place 335,000 m3 of concrete and lifting concrete formwork, welding machines and generators. The demanding work program keeps the cranes lifting right up to their maximum capacity, with loads up to 25 t.

Both Potain cranes are configured with 60 m jibs and one has a working height of 25 m while the other stands 60 m tall. The taller crane is situated near the foot of the dam while the shorter one is higher up the valley, mounted on the 30 m track. The cranes will stay on site until the end of 2012, when the project will complete.

Potain’s MC 475 offers a maximum possible jib length of 80 m and a maximum tip load of 3 t.

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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