ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – The OSA Goliath, equipped with an MTC78000 heavy lift offshore crane is currently lying in the port after returning from the Baltic, before leaving for the Gulf of Mexico where she is under contract for the next few years to the Mexican oil company Pemex.
The equipment aboard the vessel was developed by Liebherr at their Rostock plant and is one of the largest slewing cranes ever built. The test load during sea trials consisted of 2 water filled pontoons weighing no less than 1760 tonnes. The normal maximum working load for the equipment is 1600 tonnes at a radius of 35 metres with a complete 360 degree turn available. The crane is so heavy it took two of Liebherr’s own giant harbour cranes to place the parts of the MTC unit in place for assembly by the team of 50 mechanics who constructed it in just 23 days, including the 87 metre boom!
Three similar lift rigs to that aboard Goliath have already been ordered. The market for this type of equipment is predicted to grow in the next few years as, in addition to oil exploration companies who are a traditional customer, defunct rigs often need to be decommissioned and removed from site, the cost of removing a rig damaged by hurricanes and the like can be fifteen times that for an undamaged rig. This has prompted oil companies to decommission as soon as a rigs useful life is ended rather than risk the extra expense. Meanwhile the growth of the wind and wave generated energy market, and its correspondingly larger turbines should provide a new field for the heavy lift industry.