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Chilly work for duty cycle dredger

Digger Blogger | 09:30, Thu April 11 2024

Around 250km north of the Arctic Circle, a Liebherr duty cycle crane is working on the largest construction project in Greenland's history.

Munk Civil Engineering is carrying out dredging work for two airport projects with an HS 8200 duty cycle crawler crane. The Arctic conditions and logistics pose a particular challenge.

Two new airports are under construction, in the coastal towns of Ilulissat and Nuuk in the western part of Greenland. To date, only propeller-driven aeroplanes could land here. The new airports will make it possible for larger jets to fly directly from the European or American mainland.

The new runway in Ilulissat is partly in the sea. A thick layer of clay sediment has to be removed from the seabed before it can be backfilled. Otherwise, settlement may occur over time.

Danish contractor Munck Civil Engineering, the main contractor for both projects, is using a Liebherr HS 8200 duty cycle crawler crane for this dredging work.

"In one day shift, our extraction rate can be up to 1,000 cubic metres of excavated clay material," explains construction manager Kevin van den Bos.

The 200-tonne duty cycle crane is operating with a 35-metre boom and a clamshell grab with a capacity of 3.5 cubic metres. To achieve high productivity, the HS 8200 is equipped with Liebherr's smart Dredging Assistant, which shows the operator the position and fill level of the grab, the number and duration of work cycles or the handling performance in real time. The system also makes it easier to calculate the amount of material needed to fill the area for the runway.

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Munck Civil Engineering finds all the rock material used for this within the project boundaries. "In total, we have to drill and blast around 5.5 million cubic metres of rock material. We then transport this to the construction section so that we can subsequently build a 2km-long runway."

After dredging, the duty cycle crawler crane is equipped with a stone grab to place stones along the new runway as part of the coastal protection programme.

The average temperature in this region is 8 degrees Celsius in the summer. In winter, it can drop to minus 35 degrees. "It is very important for us to complete the dredging work before the ice spreads in the bay and makes our work impossible." The duty cycle crawler crane was supplied with the Liebherr cold package to ensure that it is also operational in these extreme conditions.

In addition to the icy conditions, the logistics are a major challenge. The region is only supplied by a ship once a week and also brings parts and equipment for Munck Civil Engineering. A large store and the ability to repair everything itself is therefore particularly important for the company in this remote region.

Munck Civil Engineering operates the HS 8200 six days a week in 10-hour shifts. Kevin van den Bos is happy with the performance of the crane: "The machine runs really well and has exceeded our expectations,” he says. “We will finish even earlier than anticipated. That is really positive."



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