The Cosira Group, one of the largest structural steel fabricators and erectors in Southern Africa, has recently made a massive investment in the purchase of a number of state-of-the-art cranes. The new cranes include the biggest crane the company has invested in to date, the SCC4000, a 400 t crawler crane from the Chinese company Sany.
In the wake of a contract awarded by Eskom to the Cosira Group in consortium with Alstom earlier this year to complete the construction of South Africa's first wet flue gas desulphurisation (WFGD) system in Eskom's Kusile power station, it had become necessary for the company to invest in cranes with substantially increased lifting capacity.
This is according to John Lehman, CFO at Cosira. "For this project and future ones, we needed the 400 t crawler for lifting large welded silo components and tanks," Lehman points out. "Mobile cranes are an essential part of our business, and the time had come for the Cosira Group to invest in a major upgrade of our cranes."
The boom of the SCC4000 operates according to different combinations. The main boom operating capacity reaches a height of 110 m, and a 92 m working radius. Using the main boom, luffing jib and superlift mast, the operator can reach a boom height of 168 m and an 84 m working radius.
"It is an adaptable machine because of its different configurations," comments Lehman. "It also offers stability in operation as well as an efficient integrated control system; as well as excellent hoisting performance."
The Sany crawler cranes are extremely robust. The travelling mechanism is designed for the roughest terrain, and to withstand extreme weather conditions. The cranes are also cost-effective, both in terms of operating and transport costs.
"The machine has an innovative self-assembly system which enables a quick and safe erection of the crane, and makes it more cost-effective. Also, all the equipment can be transported on standard trucks and the components fit standard containers," points out Martin Muller, Large Plant manager at the Cosira Group. He says the company took delivery of the crane earlier this year in Namibia for the Trekkopje Maxi Back End Project. It will be moved to the Eskom project site in August 2011. "Our crane drivers will be given special training on the new machines, provided by the supplier who will be stationed on site for a period of three months."
The cranes are ‘state-of-the-art' not only from a technology and efficiency point of view, but also from a safety perspective, according to Muller. "They comply with lifting regulations, and, in addition, we conduct a rigging study with every lift which is signed off by the client," he says, adding that heavy lifts are monitored by Cosira's safety personnel, the construction site manager and the company's SHEQ representatives.
The Cosira Group, which currently uses a combination of hired and owned machines, will be making similar investments in the coming year.
"We believe in making sound investments in equipment and technology to increase our overall operational effectiveness and minimise process risk", says John da Silva, CEO of the Cosira Group. "Owning our own fleet gives us the flexibility to better service our clients."
"Such a flexible yet robust machine is essential for our operations going forward. A major investment such as the SCC4000 is pivotal to our capacity to offer our customers optimum service and operational excellence," concludes da Silva.