Heavylift / Breakbulk

  • The world’s largest caterpillar crane completed its precision work.

06.12.2019 By: Marco Wölfli

Artikel Nummer: 29997

3 hours – not 18

Good ideas are of the essence when knocking down an oil platform into its individual components and loading them onto a barge. The Mexican company Eseasa deployed a caterpillar crane for the first time, thus cutting down the estimated project time.



The firm Eseasa was recently mandated with a rather major contract to manufacture seven oil platforms for the state-owned oil corporation Pemex. It is carrying out the job in the port city of Tampico on the east coast of Mexico. There are many major steps to be taken, however, before the huge units reach their final destination in the south of the Gulf of Mexico. Usually the 1,200 t elements are transferred to the barge by self-propelled transporters. The barges then have to moor square on to the river, which means they block the Río Pánuco, on whose banks Eseasa’s plant is located.


This procedure, in which several tugboats are also deployed, takes around 18 hours; no other ships can sail on this stretch of the river in this time. So Eseasa decided to use a different approach this time, to reduce the effort and costs.



The world’s largest caterpillar crane

The family enterprise Eseasa not only manufactures oil platforms, it also carries out project cargo logistics tasks for the equipment from the petro-chemical industry. For such jobs it has several cranes in its fleet to carry out the requisite heavylift activities.


This time Eseasa deployed a Liebherr LR 13000 caterpillar crane to load the elements on to the barge. The LR 13000 is currently the strongest conventional caterpillar crane worldwide. Its height of 248 m simultaneously also makes it the tallest in the world. Using the LR 13000 meant it took a mere three hours to load the platform parts on to the barge, which was additionally able to moor alongside, leaving the waterway open for ships.


The project was completed entirely to the satisfaction of Eseasa co-owner Aldo Santo. “The loading process worked perfectly and was much cheaper than ever before. Such a short time in action! It’s extraordinary.”


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