CHINA: Lifting tests have been carried out on what is claimed to be the world's biggest gantry crane at the Yantai Raffles Shipyard (YRS) in China.

The $40 million Taisun crane, named after a famous mountain in the Shandong Province, has a lifting capacity of 20,000 metric tons (22,046 tons), and at 122 meters (400 feet) is higher than a soccer football pitch placed lengthways underneath. It will be used to build semi-submersible rigs, jack-up drilling rigs, pipe-laying vessels and luxury yachts, among other items.

To date the Taisun's first beam has lifted 12,600 metric tonnes. The second beam was undergoing similar tests, with the exercise due for completion about mid-November making the crane available for commercial use.

According to YRS, there are already 10 major jobs lined up for the Taisun, with lifting requirements from 10,000 to 16,000 metric tons (11,023 to 17,637 tons), plus numerous other smaller projects.

“The successful testing of Taisun will revolutionize the way major offshore projects are built in the future,” said Brian Chang, YRS chairman. “Instead of small packages, modules and deckboxes will be built to their optimized size before installing. This is expected to save two million man-hours in the building of each semi-submersible rig. The drivers are safety, quality and time, which all equate to cost.”

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