A Potain MD 2200, believed to be the largest tower crane ever erected in Australia, is helping construct the new Melbourne Convention Centre. The MD 2200 is the largest of six cranes on the project, all working for main contractor Multiplex.
The crane is rigged with 75 metres height and an 80 metre jib, lifting large steel trusses and pre-cast concrete elements with the largest loads ranging from 55 to 64 tonnes, utilising the full lifting capabilities of the crane. The MD 2200 can operate at free-standing heights of up to 85 metres and can lift 23 tonnes at the 80 metre jib tip.
The crane is owned by Daniel Smith Industries and leased and managed through tower crane rental company Verticon Group. Daniel Smith, owner of Daniel Smith Industries and general manager of Verticon New Zealand, said: “We believe this is the largest hammerhead crane ever put up in Australia.The operators on it are used to working with large diesel-powered tower cranes, so they really enjoy the reduced noise of the electric motors and are impressed with the speed of the hoist and the trolley.”
“This crane was chosen first for the obvious advantage it has in lifting large structural elements – but there were also programming and layout benefits. By using the MD 2200, Multiplex was able to open up the site and make more efficient use of the space. Since it has been on the job it has been working non-stop. It’s going six days a week, 10 hours a day.”
The Melbourne Convention Centre will cover 66,000 square metres and will include a convention centre and 12 storey hotel. It will be integrated into the existing Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Construction should completed by the end of 2008, with the first function taking place in early 2009.
The crane will remain on site until March 2008 and will dismantle the smaller tower cranes on site once construction is completed.
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