Bethune SK – K+S Potash Canada’s (KSPC) Bethune mine in Saskatchewan officially opened in May 2017 and commenced production in early June.
Mammoet, having successfully undertaken all the major heavy lift operations during the main construction program, was contracted earlier this year to lift and install the final 252.8te crystallizer vessel required to complete the production facilities.
It turned out that this would by no means be an ordinary lift. Mammoet and our client worked as a team to overcome multiple challenges to execute the lift safely and on time while operating in a live plant. According to Bryce Petersen, Mammoet Crane Supervisor, this was probably the most challenging lift he had been associated with. A comprehensive lifting plan was developed to execute the placement of the crystallizer. To facilitate the lift and achieve the absolute minimum radii necessary to safely set the vessel it was necessary to partly deconstruct an adjacent building. This allowed the boom section of the LR11350 to maneuver safely into place. It meant that the crane would now have to walk closer to the building, complete with load and counterweight, weighing 1800te. For lowering the vessel through the roof there was less than155mm of clearance. The crane performed at 98% of capacity during the sequence.
Through careful planning and close collaboration with the client, Mammoet safely dealt with all challenges and ultimately finished the lift in accordance to the plan, all while KSPC could maintain partial production.