Modulift Lattice System Assists Gas Pipe Project

Poole based engineering firm, Modulift Uk Ltd, has played a key role in the assembly of GRE pipes during the second phase of the construction of Ballanaboy Gas Terminal in Ireland. With the assistance of the Modulift lattice system approximately 3000m of jointed pipes have been lifted into trenches for works inside the terminal.

Pittsburgh, PA, August 28, 2009 --( In conjunction with Shell E & P Ireland, Roadbridge Ltd and Walsh Crane Hire, Modulift supplied two 24m lattice systems as well as a sling assembly to support the rigging of a single 36m spreader beam, to enable varying lengths of pipes to be lifted in a safe and controlled manner.

Roadbridge Ltd, the civil engineering and building contractors, were contracted by Shell E & P Ireland to construct the civil works element of the terminal to receive gas from the Corrib field, which is located in the Atlantic Ocean 83Km off the west coast of Ireland, for processing prior to entering the national grid. Walsh Crane Hire was contracted to supply a 90 ton Tadano Faun All- Terrain Crane which was rigged with a 42.1 metre main boom and a 13.5 ton ballast as well as a 50 ton Grove GMK3050, which was rigged with a 38.1 metre main boom.

For the load handling, the pipes came in 10m lengths and were joined together on site, with a maximum of 6 pipes for one string. This required spreader lengths of 24m, 36m and 48m. Each 10m pipe was supported at two points by nylon web slings to eliminate the movement at the joints during lifts.

The two 24m Modulift lattice spreaders worked in a tandem lifting arrangement with the 90 ton Tadano Faun and the 50 ton Grove GMK3050 to place up to 60m of pipes into the trenches. Approximately 80 pipe sections were assembled in total, with no two lifts being identical. A 56m string of pipes was lifted using the 48m lattice spreader and the two crane arrangement. These pipes were supported at 12 points using the nylon web slings. Due to the long lengths of each string, a lifting plan was designed and agreed before each lift took place to ensure every load was level and under control throughout.

Tom Walsh, Contracts Manager, Roadbridge explains the decision to use the Modulift lattice system: “As we had a large number of excavators already on site, we originally planned to utilise about 7 to lift the varying lengths of pipe sections. We took the decision to replace these with the Modulift lattice system mainly because the lifting frame provided better support for the pipes during the lifts, minimising the risk of damage to the pipe as well as providing a safer, more efficient lifting process. It is also more cost effective. For a direct comparison the cost of hiring two cranes and the Modulift lattice system equates to the cost of using 4 excavators. The 36m lattice spreader rig lifted by one crane is even more cost effective.”

The lightweight Modulift lattice system uses a modular concept and is designed specifically for long, lighter loads. The 24m lattice spreader is supported by 2 leg slings, which provide a lifting capacity of up to 3 tonnes. The system comprises of 3m sections weighing less then 120kg and 1m long cross beams that are attached with pinned joints at every metre. This system can also be rigged as a 36m spreader beam with the use of a sling assembly working with either the 90 or 50 ton crane to lift shorter pipe lengths.

Nick Latham, Chairman, Modulift, explains the simplicity of the Modulift lattice system: “Originally designed and developed specifically for the roofing industry to enable easier handling of long roof sheets, the lattice system has quickly become recognised as an efficient and valuable lifting solution across many industry applications. This is mainly thanks to it inherent flexibility, which allows the spreader to accommodate different load sizes for different lifts within projects. Roadbridge’s decision to use our lattice system as the lifting tool for the pipe sections reflects its growing popularity in a varied field of load handling applications.”

The system has been used 3 times a week for a 3 month period, with one of the 24m spreaders being left on site for a further 3 months until this phase of works is completed, which is scheduled to be next month. “The benefit of the lattice system using 3m sections makes it easier for Modulift customers to transport, handle and assemble on site, one of the major advantages of using pinned joints. It also enables it to be easily stacked and stored on site for the duration of a project. Thanks to the systems ease of use and flexible nature, we have seen a notable increase in the demand among leading hire companies in the UK,” continues Latham.

Contractors are able to provide job specifications enabling Modulift to design a solution using either the lattice system or the Modulift crane spreader system, to provide the correct beam lengths for the weight capacities using modular components. A far more cost effective tool and less time consuming way than manufacturing new beams or re-building existing spreaders for each job.

For more information about all their products please call +1 412 638 6688 or in Europe call +44 1202 621511.

Sarah Buckland
+1 412 436 6162