Wind takes 650t crawler

A 650 tonne crawler crane overturned on a wind farm in Sweden last month and is now being recovered.

The incident occurred on the Björkvattnet wind farm in a remote location north west of Sundsvall - 450km north of Stockholm - in central Sweden. GE Renewables is installing 33 of its 5.3 MW 5.3-158 Cypress turbines on the site for wind power company Treblade Björkvattnet – owned by Infravia Capital Partners. It was using a Demag CC 3800 owned by Austrian crane and access rental company Prangl which had been on site since last June.
The crane overturned to the rear dropping its Superlift ballast onto the deck

The crane was left fully rigged on the evening of January 11th, and unfortunately a bad snow storm with high winds whipped up overnight. When the snow ploughs came by the site in the morning they spotted the crane had gone over backwards, with the boom coming down on a larger generator. No one was hurt in the incident although there was some minor oil and diesel leakage. The recovery of the crane was due to get underway last week. It seems that the two main casualties from the incident are the crane itself and the deadline for completion of the project, which will be delayed by around a month.

We have seen the official reports from the incident which have failed to identify anything yet regarding the precise cause, apart from the weather. Although it seems that the out of service positioning/configuration could have been a factor, although this is not the first such crane to come down in conditions like this while working on wind farms. It may well be worth operators, owners and project managers checking and familiarising themselves with the manufacturer's out of service instructions and recommendations in order to avoid such disruption.

Heavy snow initially hampered the investigation and the recovery work, but we understand that it has been completed along with an environmental assessment.
photos courtesy of the initial accident reports

GE has said that it is working closely with its client to continue to install turbines at the site as quickly and safely as possible.


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