Japan: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has installed Japan's largest goliath crane at one of its shipbuilding facilities in Nagasaki Prefecture.

The 1,344 ton (1,200 metric ton) capacity crane at the Koyagi Plant, part of the company's Nagasaki Shipyard and Machinery Works division, is 313 feet tall, 609 feet wide. Ground work for its construction started in February 2007.

“With the introduction of the new crane, together with the expansion of other shipbuilding-related facilities, the annual shipbuilding capacity of the Koyagi Plant will increase from the current five units to seven,” said the company.

The yard's expansion is designed to increase ship building on the ground and in the workshop, rather than in its dry docks, with the aim of reducing construction times. This will be aided by the goliath, which, along with two existing 672 ton (600 metric ton) capacity gantry cranes, will allow single ship modules weighing up to 1,680 ton (1,500 metric tons) to be built at the site.

The pair of 672 ton (600 metric ton) cranes were constructed in 1972, each using 784 tons (700 metric tons) of steel. But thanks to modern technology, the new goliath, which provides twice the capacity, only required 560 tons (500 metric tons) of steel.

“One outstanding feature of the new crane is its significant wind resistance, despite its reduced weight. As the Koyagi Plant is located in an area prone to high winds, the crane has an aerodynamic design, based on extensive wind tunneling testing. The crane is designed to withstand gusts of up to 262 feet/second, far stronger than the 180 feet/second that goliath cranes are normally designed for,” said MHI.

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