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Load-out and lifting of a 394t pile gripper, Belgium and the Netherlands


ALE performed the load-out of a 394t pile gripper on quay 136 in Antwerp, Belgium. This was followed by the mobilisation of the pile gripper in Flushing port, the Netherlands.


Services Required

The pile gripper was used during the Geoseas Race Bank project to install the monopiles.

The pile gripper was located on stools, approximately 30m from the quayside, and was supported in the centre and at the front. 20 axle lines of SPMT in a 2 x 10 axle configuration were used to perform the load-out. Throughout the load-out the barge was ballasted.

In order to position the SPMTs, ALE needed to remove the stools side by side to stabilise the pile gripper’s Centre of Gravity. Once in position, ALE raised the SPMTs and lashed the pile gripper onto the SPMTs.

The following morning the pile gripper was transported to the quay and loaded in steps onto the barge. The pile gripper was placed on stools in the reverse way as during the lifting procedure. ALE drove the SPMTs underneath the pile gripper, after which a mobile crane was provided by the client to lift the SPMTs off the barge and onto the trucks, which were located on the quayside.

The pile gripper was then sea-fastened and transported to Flushing Port in the Netherlands, ready for mobilisation on the ship, Innovation.

The barge with the pile gripper was positioned at the aft side of the Innovation. ALE chose a special rigging configuration which included strand jacks so ALE could install the pile gripper at its correct angle. ALE configured the rigging on the quayside and lifted the rigging using the main hoist of the Innovation. The main hoist was slewn until above the pile gripper, after which the pile gripper was connected to the rigging, lifted and positioned above its final position.

Finally, the pile gripper was adjusted to the correct angle using a lifting computer connected to the strand jacks, before being lowered and connected to the ship.

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