Sarens’ Big Carl makes biggest lift yet

By KHL StaffDecember 18, 2020

Crane and transport company Sarens’ 5,500 USton capacity SGC-250 crane recently completed its biggest ever lift at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the UK. ‘Big Carl’ lifted a 634 USton load comprising the first of three prefabricated steel rings that will form the reinforced cylinder around the nuclear reactor.

The ring is 55ft tall with a diameter of 154ft and was lifted out of a bunker where it was constructed in factory-like conditions. The crane was working at a radius of 525ft for the lift, which took place during the night to take advantage of lighter winds.

edf_64863179653 ‘Big Carl’ lifts the first of three prefabricated steel rings. (Photo courtesy EDF.)

The cylinder itself weighed 420 UStons, with the remainder of the 634 USton load made up of lifting gear. The ring was placed on 96 hydraulic jacks, which lowered the ring into its exact position. 

The crane will eventually lift individual pieces weighing more than 1,100 USton on the project.

Hinkley Point C Managing Director Stuart Crooks said: “This spectacular lift is a remarkable achievement in a year when everyone has had to make extraordinary efforts to keep the site and community safe from infection. The precision involved is like watch-making on an industrial scale.

edf_64863180125 The steel ring was fabricated on site in factory-like conditions. (Photo courtesy EDF.)

“Our ability to maintain progress in such tough circumstances is a testament to the commitment of the workforce and our suppliers across Britain and the world.  Construction of Hinkley Point C’s two reactors continues to provide evidence that repeating an identical design improves quality and efficiency – something that will bring big benefits to Sizewell C in Suffolk.”

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