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News Release

Grove rough-terrain cranes building AU$5 billion Australian LNG plant

10/23/2014 Australia

Australian crane rental giant Universal Cranes has sent two 120 t capacity Grove rough-terrain cranes to build a huge, on-shore LNG facility in Darwin, northern Australia. The Grove RT9130E-2 cranes will spend at least two years at the job site, working for specialist contractor Leighton Contractors, in a climate that mixes searing heat with relentless rain.

The Grove cranes are working on the Ichthys LNG project, which is the largest construction site ever seen in Australia’s Northern Territory. Its vast scale and enormous work load requires versatile equipment that can adapt to any need, as Nick Morris, engineering and sales manager at Universal Cranes, explains.

“The cranes are used day in, day out to perform a huge variety of lifts so they need to be easy to set up and efficient,” he says. “Our Grove units are known for their ease-of-use, but their rugged design and durability are also key. This job site is a mix of heat, sand and sea – the cranes must endure the lot. And we are happy to report that they are performing admirably.”

The Grove RT9130E-2 cranes arrived at the job site at the start of the year, having travelled more than 3,500 km across Australia. They are used almost all day, every day to keep the project on its ambitious schedule.

The cranes are installing an underground network of piping and equipment at the plant. Both Grove RT9130E-2 cranes often work with their full 48 m boom and also regularly showcase their excellent pick-and-carry capabilities. This enables operators to perform more lifts from one spot, saving time and hassle.

Working at a location where relative humidity regularly reaches 83% and a month’s rainfall hits more than 420 mm, Grove’s Full Vision cab is among the coolest and driest places to be on site.

As well as contending with the weather, the Grove cranes must maneuver around the complex project, which already has expensive equipment and piping in place as construction continues. But with four-steering modes, superior ground clearance and excellent visibility from the cab, the RT9130E-2 cranes navigate the site with ease.

Building a mega complex in a remote, desert-like, coastal location tests the quality of all of the equipment used on site. Grove’s RT cranes are known for their extremely rugged design, with deep box section frames, but they must also be regularly maintained to ensure optimum performance. Local company Darwin Crane and Machinery Services handles all servicing and repair work.

Now more than 50% complete, the Ichthys LNG project rolls three mega projects into one: an off-shore facility, an on-shore LNG plant and an 889 km gas pipeline. The total project cost is estimated at more than AU$10 billion. Ichthys is being managed by a joint venture between main contractors GC Corporation, KBR and Chiyoda Corporation – three organizations behind many of the world’s largest oil and gas processing plants.

Founded in 1993, Universal Cranes is one of the largest privately owned crane hire companies in Australia. Its fleet includes mobile, crawler and tower cranes with capacities from 7 t to 600 t. The company operates six branches located across the country.

About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) was founded in 1902 and has over a 116-year tradition of providing high-quality, customer-focused products and support services to its markets and its 2018 net sales were approximately $1.8 billion. Manitowoc is one of the world's leading providers of engineered lifting solutions. Manitowoc, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, markets, and supports comprehensive product lines of mobile telescopic cranes, tower cranes, lattice-boom crawler cranes, and boom trucks under the Grove, Manitowoc, National Crane, Potain, Shuttlelift and Manitowoc Crane Care brand names.
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