Replacement of coke drums at Valero Refinery, Houston


ALE successfully demonstrated the key benefits of an extended lifting radius with a series of record-breaking  lifts at an oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, USA. Using our AL.SK190 crane – the first use of this award-winning  crane in North America – we completed a two stage project that involved lifting 1,338t at 54m outreach.


Services Required

In the initial phase of the project, the AL.SK190 was used to exchange coker drums, removing six old drums and replacing

with six new drums weighing up to 471t each. The crane first lifted a 1,400t derrick structure, which was positioned on top of the existing coker drums at a height of 100 metres, and set it on the ground. The coker drums were then exchanged, and the derrick structure replaced.


The derrick lift performed by the AL.SK190 was the first time a complete derrick assembly consisting of triple drill towers and cutting deck, had been removed and replaced in a single piece.


The lift required a complex tackle arrangement with a 12 point pick up, only possible with the AL.SK190 crane. To successfully complete the project without the need to shut down the coker the AL.SK190 was rigged outside the boundaries of the coker pit. This also enabled the completion of the project with no permanent equipment in the refinery having to be dismantled, and the coker pit wall did not have to be removed.


In addition to the AL.SK190, ALE utilised an 850t tailing gantry and 60 axle lines of SPMT to complete the HCU installation. ALE also supplied all of the engineering calculations and related support.


The 4,300t-capacity  AL.SK190, which won the Innovation and Development Award for End Users at the 2010 ESTA Awards of Excellence, has a load moment of 190.000tm, a 141m main boom and a 32.1m ballast radius, and also features a 600t quick winch system for lifting smaller items quickly.

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  • Replacement of coke drums at Valero Refinery, Houston

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