By Alex Dahm17 October 2008
The Algarve coastline on the southern point of Portugal is popular with tourists wanting to enjoy the Mediterranean climate, beautiful beaches and golf courses. In recent years, however, the region has attracted a different type of visitor - not to its beaches - but to the exposed hilltops beyond.
Today, it is one of the major development areas for wind farms in Portugal and a combination of cranes and turbines appear along the horizon. One company playing a central role in many of the developments is Lisbon-based Montalgrua. With financing arranged by Manitowoc Finance, the company has invested in a Manitowoc Model 16000 crawler crane with full Max-Er capacity enhancing attachment and luffing jib. The company is presently using it on the Parque Eólico de Guerreiros development for energy giant Enercon.
Alexandre Pinheiro, technical and commercial director at Montalgrua, says the Model 16000 is perfect for erecting turbines on the hilltops of the Algarve. "What we really like about the Model 16000 is its pin-on upper boom point that lifts 95 tonne and gives us all the lift capacity we need for erecting turbines," he says. "And the crane is also easy to move and assemble - we don't need an assist crane to put together the upper works. The electronics are very user-friendly and the ground bearing pressure compared with other cranes in its class is excellent."On this job the Model 16000 is placing five 2.3 MW turbines with an installed height of 80 m. The heaviest elements weigh 68 tonnes and are 13 m long and 4.5 m in diameter. For the job the Model 16000 is rigged with 90 m of main boom and the 7 m upper boom point. Montalgrua formed in 1978 and, in addition to its Model 16000, the company has Grove GMK4100-L and GMK5220 all-terrain cranes. It will receive a Manitowoc Model 999 in 2009.