Leading Hydro supplier ANDRITZ uses Konecranes to shift their hydropower turbines in Laos

Konecranes SM open winch cranes fitted with smart features lift some of the biggest hydropower turbines in South-East Asia at Xayaburi Hydro Power Plant, Laos

ANDRITZ, a global leader hydroengineering which supplies plants, equipment, and services for hydropower stations in various industries, including the water industry, is benefitting from the efficiency and safety of Konecranes heavy duty open winch cranes to lift and accurately position the biggest hydropower turbines in Southeast Asia (SEA), at the environmentally-conscious Xayaburi Hydro Power Plant (HPP) located in the Xayaburi region in Laos.

One of the largest hydroelectric projects in SEA, the Xayaburi HPP is located on the Lower Mekong River approximately 30 kilometres east of Xayaburi, a town in northern Laos. The total installed capacity is expected to be 1,285 megawatts, with a total annual energy production of around 7,400 GWh when the project is fully completed in 2019.

Two 380t and two 80t Konecranes SM cranes in 380/80t pairings are used to lift customised turbine components weighing hundreds of tonnes and position them in the powerhouse, which is environmentally friendly by design – it avoids harming fish in the Mekong River, which is home to over a thousand fish species, with more than 250 of them inhabiting the Xayaburi region alone.

“We chose Konecranes for the challenging task of lifting and accurately positioning turbines, generators and components, because they have a world class reputation for safety and reliability and Xayaburi is one of the biggest hydro power projects,” Mr Harald Taubenschmid, Project Manager – Xayaburi HPP, ANDRITZ Hydro, said. “The Konecranes units not only lift enormous weights very efficiently, but they can fit into confined spaces too, which is a major advantage when working on a project like Xayaburi.”

Konecranes’ SM trolley’s extremely compact design leads to minimised approach dimensions and headroom requirements. Compared to conventional trolley types, the SM crane gives a reduction in the structural requirements of rails, runway beams and columns, and in the overall height of the building. Compact design and economy of space gives streamlined production areas, smaller buildings, and bigger cost savings.

Additionally, Konecranes was able to draw upon its decades of global experience in producing cranes for the to customise the cranes Xayaburi required; both SM crane sets incorporate smart features such as sway control and shock load prevention, as well as Extended Speed Range (ESR) control to attain higher average hoist speeds and crane speed on the bridge with outstanding safety and operating efficiency without increasing motor size.

“The smart features are a big help to our operations, which require high levels of precision and safety. We use the 80t cranes to lift all our equipment from the powerhouse unloading bay to erection bay, where we assemble our turbines and generators. Then, in a tandem operation with a beam, we use both 380t cranes to lift our generator rotor with a weight of 632t into position,” Taubenschmid added. “The cranes are absolutely critical to our operations. If the cranes fail, essential works are hindered and our project becomes behind schedule. Konecranes has a reputation for outstanding reliability even in tough conditions, and this was a major consideration when choosing them for this project. Konecranes’ supervisors have also been working well – they have provided us with professional and prompt service, as well as expert advice wherever necessary. Projects like this require a meticulous level of accuracy, and we’ve always been able to rely on Konecranes to provide this for us.”