Contractors World International Vol 7 No 1
Contractors World International
A demanding job completed in front of an imposing
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
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
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
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