Fagioli’s Goliath shipyard challenge in Venice

By Alex Dahm12 July 2021

Alex Dahm reports on the challenge met by specialist contractor Fagioli of lifting, moving and installing an 800 tonne Goliath gantry crane for an Italian shipyard.

Multiple types of equipment were used to offload, transport, store and assemble a new 800 tonne Goliath gantry crane for the Fincantieri shipyard in Venice, Italy.

Italy-based international heavy lift and transport specialist Fagioli is no stranger to completing large and heavy jobs in the region. Most of the sections or blocks on this crane weighed between about 10 and 500 tonnes, but the main girder – when assembled from its six pieces – weighed a massive 2,383 tonnes.

The Goliath crane was made by Haixi Heavy-Duty Machinery Co. (HHMC) at Qingdao in China, and shipped to the north Italy yard at Marghera. More than 20 blocks were put together to make a crane weighing 3,973 tonnes.

Tommaso Pedrazzoni, Fagioli site manager, explained that the work on site was structured in four macro phases, “Complex projects require great preparation, study and commitment.

“The first was the unloading phase of all the Goliath crane components from the vessel to the jetty, then the transports by means of SPMT and relative storage on the ground.

“The second was the assembly phase of the Fagioli lifting system, which composed of towers, lifting beams and strand jacks. The third, the highlight of the whole job, was the erection phase of the Goliath crane.And finally the fourth, the disassembly phase of the lifting system.”

Goliath gantry crane The six sub blocks making up the main girder weighed a total of 2,383 tonnes


Four stages to complete industrious mission 
Phase one, the offloading and transporting the gantry crane components, saw them moved from the jetty to the nearby erection area by the ship’s cranes to unload onto the Fincantieri jetty. Up to 72 lines of SPMT from Cometto was used to transport the blocks to the assembly area.

Phase two saw Fagioli assemble its tour-tower lifting system around the Goliath crane’s main girder. A pair of heavy lift strand jacks were mounted on top of each lattice tower. The eight units used from the Fagioli strand jacking system were the L600 type, with a safe working load of 573 tonnes each and a lifting stroke of 450 mm.

The eight strand jacks worked in unison to lift the main girder 10m from the ground to allow insertion of the legs. The hinged leg top piece was moved in on SPMT and connected to the main girder. Then the hinged leg tubular pieces, also moved in on SPMT, were connected to the pad-eyes.

Fagioli strand jacking The Fagioli strand jacking system allows modes from 15 to 750 tonnes per unit

The main girder was then lifted 14.4 metres off the ground to allow insertion of the fixed leg. After moving it in on SPMT it was connected to the main girder rotation pad-eyes.

As the lift was progressing the fixed leg was tailed using SPMT, with the hinged leg tubular sections having rollers under them to also walk them onto the crane rails.

Lifting continued until the bottom flange of the main girder reached a height of 41.1 metres from the ground. The fixed leg was aligned vertically under the rotation hinge. At this point lifting was stopped and the SPMT was disconnected. Final rotation of the fixed leg was then completed using two type L100 strand jacks.

With the bottom flange of the main girder at a height of 43.5 metres above ground, rotation of the hinged leg tubular pieces was complete and lifting stopped.

The main girder was lifted again, to a height of 57 metres, with guy cables tensioned to make the crane stable. The travel wheels and drive system were brought in on SPMT with the bottom sections of the fixed and the hinged legs, which were inserted under the suspended legs to complete the assembly process.

Pedrazzoni explained, “Without precise planning and continuous monitoring of every activity then a challenging project like this, in which timing in terms of working together and synchrony with the schedule were fundamental, would not have been possible.”

The project needed to be pervasive from Fagioli’s engineering division, which issued all the necessary documents for the preparation and execution of the job onsite to management, from logistics to operations.

Pedrazzoni concluded, “Without highly skilled and professional figures it would not be possible to complete such ambitious projects.”

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