‘Big Carl’ lifts steel ring onto second reactor

Tagged as the world’s biggest crane and nicknamed Big Carl, the giant Sarens SGC-250 has been in action again at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, UK.

The prefabricated ring is 47 metres in diameter and 17 metres high

The 5,000 tonne capacity crane placed the first steel ring section onto the second reactor building, 11 months after the same operation on the first reactor. The 575 tonne prefabricated ring, which is 47 metres in diameter and 17 metres high, forms part of a reinforced cylinder around the nuclear reactor.

This installation was an identical design to the first reactor but the second ring was built 25 per cent faster than the same part on unit one. EDF says this is due to a ‘replication effect’ and will not only benefit the current project but also the identical Sizewell C project in Suffolk.

Simon Parsons, NI area, site and civils director, said, “This significant lift is testament to everyone involved – from the teams who fabricated it, to those on Unit 2 who’ve delivered the civil-works schedule enabling us to install it and also the lifting team themselves. We have continued to learn from Unit 1 to safely deliver a quality product.”

  • The SGC-250 was rigged with the Sarspin hydraulic load levelling system

  • It had 118 metres of main boom and a 52.3 metre jib

  • Counterweight weighed in at 5,200 tonnes
  • Load lifted: approx 600 tonnes.

Click here to read about what it is like to be in charge of the world’s biggest and most powerful crane from the head of lifting at Hinkley Point C


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