STAHL CraneSystems has supplied purpose-built LNG wire rope hoists to GATE (‘Gas Access to Europe’), the first liquefied gas terminal in the Netherlands.
In the long run, the GATE plant is intended to secure gas supplies to north-western Europe. The plant comprises three LNG tanks with a total volume of 540 000 m³. There are three LNG pumps inside the tanks, which transport the liquefied gas. These pumps have to undergo maintenance work, which involves regularly transporting the pumps from the base of the LNG tanks to outside.
The LNG wire rope hoists are of completely redundant design: two hoists, two brakes, two gearboxes and two ropes ensure that in the improbable event that a rope should break or there is a malfunction, the hoisting procedure can continue as normal, without damaging the valuable pump or any part of the system. Off-standard ropes, permanently connected to the pump and remaining in the tank, are used for lifting. These ropes are attached to the rope drum by means of a rope clamp. If one of the ropes should break, the second hoist takes up the load and continues the hoisting procedure. The impact of this abrupt load change is counterbalanced by the rocking suspension and integrated dampers. The hoists naturally meet the strict ATEX directives on mechanical and electrical explosion protection so that they can cause no explosion hazard even if natural gas should evaporate.
Each of the three hoists has two independently driven rope drums with an S.W.L. of 2400 kg each. Their corrosion-resistant paint is particularly suited for saline environments such as the port of Rotterdam. A corrugated steel housing under which the hoist is parked while not in use provides even greater protection from wind and weather.
Supplementing the maintenance crane, there is a further slewing crane on each of the liquefied gas tanks, equipped with an explosion-protected SH 30 ex wire rope hoist. This crane has an S.W.L. of 150 kg and is used to transport tools and small components up to the platform of the tank.
Written by Jan Petersen on behalf of STAHL CraneSystems GmbH
Edited by Callum O’Reilly