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Contractors World International Vol 7 No 1


Contractors World International

A demanding job completed in front of an imposing

harbour backdrop.

Thömen's Project Manager, Jörg Marahrens, was given

the difficult logistic challenge of removing the final con-

struction crane from the Elbe Philharmonic Hall.

The crane erected on the south-west façade of the

building had to be dismantled from the River Elbe.

Seven years previously this construction crane had

been erected from a pontoon despite the fact that the

river in the Port of Hamburg is tidal.

At that time an LTM 1500-8.1 from Thömen was used.

The dismantling work had to be completed by a more

powerful mobile crane from a fixed jack-up platform

since the crane, directly attached to the building, now

was around 120 metres high.

It had been climbed downwards until the boom could

just still be slewed over the edge of the building.

Furthermore, a larger crane would be able to remove

several tower sections from the crane on its hook with

each hoist so that the work could be completed more


The most powerful crane in Thömen's mobile crane

fleet, the Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1, was able to provide

the required performance parameters for this rather

unusual job.

The nine-axle mobile crane was erected and prepared

for the job at Burchardkai, in the west of the Port of

Hamburg, on a jack-up platform measuring 75 metres

in length.

114 tonnes of ballast, a 19 metre telescopic boom

extension and a 66 meter luffing jib were required to

achieve the required hook height of 127 metres.

The equipment on the jack-up platform, the crawler

crane stationed on it and the legs towering upwards left

very little space for the Thömen team to set up the crane.

A Liebherr LHM 320 mobile harbour crane stationed

at the quay completed part of the erection work for the

luffing jib.

Two tugs towed the platformwith the crane upstream

through the Port of Hamburg for around one hour to

the site. The distance was around ten kilometres, passing

the old Elbe Tunnel, the St Pauli Piers and the dry docks

of the massive Blohm+Voss shipyard.

Immediately in front of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall,

the jack-up platform pushed its enormous legs into the

river bed to raise the platform to the water level of the

high tide. This meant that the crane work could be com-

pleted without any hindrance from the tides or the bow

waves from passing shipping.

The two crane drivers, Jens Kohlmorgen and Ralf

Ramm, had to exercise great caution and work very

precisely when dismantling the construction crane which

was just three metres away from the glistening glass

façade of the concert hall.

After removing the ballast blocks and the boom,

however, the wind speed increased which meant that

the work had to be stopped for several days.

Problems with undoing the crane bolts after seven

years caused an unexpected delay

in the removal of the crane and

meant that the timeframe with

ideal weather conditions which

should normally have sufficed for

the work had to be extended