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A Modernisation Programme

Konecranes UK Ltd News and PR from Konecranes UK Ltd - Published 03 September 2015 That Lifted River Tyne’s Most Historic Crane To New Heights
Exemplifying the results that can be achieved through a crane modernisation programme is KonecranesÂ’ extensive refurbishment of the river Tyne's most historic Hammerhead heavy lifting crane, which worked on such exceptional maritime vessels as Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious in the golden era of the North East shipyards.

Operated by Shepherd Offshore and located within their Walker Quays Offshore Technology Park, the modernisation work undertaken by Konecranes - one of the world’s leading lifting equipment manufacturers – increased the crane’s lifting capacity from 250 to 325 tonnes making it the biggest crane of its kind in England.

In undertaking the overhaul work on the 1930s Walker Quays located crane – initiated by Shepherd Offshore and undertaken on behalf of Newcastle City Council at a cost of £750K – both parties were confident that the refurbishment project would help local engineering firms benefit from millions of pounds of additional orders, whilst also boosting the region’s competitive advantage.

Indeed since increasing its lifting capacity, the crane, which forms part of a Shepherd Offshore facility that stands as a unique and world leading offshore and marine cargo handling terminal, has opened up interest from a wider range of offshore energy customers keen to drive inward investment, whilst substantially reducing logistical costs to local and international manufacturers.

Involving a complex restoration programme, it was Konecranes’ crane modernisation team who supported local Newcastle-based crane service engineers in undertaking the work. As Tom Dunleavy, product support manager at Konecranes who worked on the refurbishment and who was responsible for crane maintenance in his shipyard days with Swan Hunter, said: “It was fascinating to be involved in a project that ensured one of the oldest cranes in recent history was rejuvenated and is today still going strong.

“The complex restoration of a remarkable piece of heritage infrastructure has already secured employment opportunities, generated additional work and introduced new businesses to the area. As a major player in the field of crane modernisation programmes, we are continuing to see an increase in their popularity across many industry sectors. Customers are realising the benefits of tapping into a cost-effective process that is efficient in providing the latest productivity, technology and safety standard advances,” he added.

At the time, Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “The creation of jobs and attracting investment are vital to the region’s economy, which is why the council was prepared to loan the money for the crane to be refurbished.

“It’s a great example of a public private partnership as an effective way of boosting economic growth, and a commitment by the council to invest during the recession, so we were well placed to compete when the economy picked up.”
Exemplifying the results that can be achieved through a crane modernisation programme

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