‘World’s largest’ demo crane deployed at power plant
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‘World’s largest’ demo crane deployed at power plant

Jun 17, 2023

By Leila Steed23 August 2023

Demolition contractor Ferraro Group is demolishing a decommissioned coal-fired power plant in Italy, with the help of a Sennebogen demolition crane and wrecking ball.

Located south of Venice in the town of Porto Tolle, the Enel thermoelectric power plant lies within in the UNESCO Po Delta Biosphere Reserve. The former industrial site is currently being redeveloped as part of a project to transform the area into an ecologically sustainable tourist resort, that will be more in keeping with its UNESCO World Heritage Site surroundings.

Ferraro, which began works on the site in August of 2022, recently brought in its Sennebogen 6300 HD crawler crane to carry out the selective demolition of a number of remaining concrete and steel structures - some of which measure up to 65 m in height.

Ferraro’s demolition crane has a maximum boom length of 113 m and a lifting capacity of up to 300 t. It has also been equipped with a “specially designed crane head” that can lift 50 t steel beams with a boom length of around 91 m.

Manufacturer Sennebogen said: “This is the only duty cycle crane in the world capable of operating a wrecking ball at a height of 75 m.

“The powerful crawler crane with a 570 kW engine and an extraordinary winch pull of 350 kN for the main winches, as well as 120 kN for the tagline winch, is still stable with a track width of 6.80 m when working with the 10 t wrecking ball.”

Commenting on the operation of the machine, Ferraro’s crane operator, Peter Hofmann, said: “For meter-thick slabs, the 10 t ball is ideal, as it brings with it an enormous force that causes the slabs to break apart with a single blow.

“As a rule, however, I like to use the 5 t demolition ball. This can be controlled even more precisely due to its lighter weight, and it proves even more effective for most jobs because it smashes completely through the concrete walls and thus also carries away a great deal of material.”

While the wrecking ball is being used to demolish the power plant’s concrete structures, Ferraro will also utilise the crane’s lifting capabilities to take down the facility’s individual power plant blocks, which are comprised of a solid steel structure and require dismantling.

Giuseppe Ferraro, Managing Director at Ferraro Group, said: “We were happy to take on the challenges of this dismantling, which is already something very special simply because of the huge dimensions and the variety of objects to be dismantled - from power plant boilers to concrete towers.

“Thanks to the 300 t duty cycle crane from Sennebogen and our specialized machinery in general, we are able to carry out jobs like this economically and effectively.

“The demolition work is going very well and we are confident that we can meet the tight schedule.”

Ferraro Group is expected to complete the project’s demolition phase in October this year.