Cranes have come a long way since they were developed by the Ancient Greeks in the late sixth century BC. Thanks to the invention of mechanical cranes, the concept has helped civilisations to erect larger and taller structures.

The evolution from mechanical to motorised cranes has helped engineers push the envelope of what is possible when it comes to construction or moving goods. A quest to promote sustainability has resulted in electric iterations of late. Now, the world’s highest capacity land-based crane, which can solely operate on electric power, is being assembled in the Netherlands. 

The crane, named SK6000, will have a capacity of 6,000 tonnes and is being set up at Mammoet’s engineering hub in the Netherlands. Mammoet, a Dutch firm that specialises in engineered heavy lifting and transport of large objects, will continue with the fabrication and production to get it ready in time for its delivery in 2024. The new equipment allows offshore wind projects to take place under entirely electric power, even when grid connectivity is unavailable. 

SK6000 sets new standard in lifting capacity

The extended outreachhook height, and lifting capacity of SK6000 offers customers a more sustainable lifting solution that sets a new benchmark in worldwide heavy lifting capacity and allows customers to construct heavier and larger components than ever before. 

A model of SK6000 at work. Image: Mammoet

The new model is a predecessor of the SK350, which uses similar design principles and lifting techniques. The crane offers a main mast length of up to 171m and, by using the fixed jib attachment, can reach a total lifting height of 274m.

The SK6000 is "containerised, enabling swift mobilisation and on-site assembly, providing ultra-heavy lift capacity wherever it is needed", according to a statement by the company. The crane enables modular construction on a larger scale by cutting down on the number of operations, crane reconfigurations, and working at height during heavy industry projects. 

To aid in furthering offshore energy projects

SK6000 is engineered to address the needs of future offshore wind farms and to aid in global energy markets, both onshore and at sea. Growing offshore wind energy capacities around the globe require more lift capacities, and the new crane is engineered to enable customers to "integrate higher and bigger turbines, and launch heavier foundations, be they fixed or floating".

The new system can reduce the integration time concerning offshore and floating production projects, as it can lift a heavy floating foundation directly into the water and assemble its turbine from a single position. Moreover, SK6000 can help "refineries to reduce downtime by removing and installing larger components with minimum disruption".