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World’s largest crane deployed at Hinkley Point



The world’s largest crane - officially called the SGC-250 (or Sarens Giant Crane 250) but known affectionately as “Big Carl” - has begun work on site for the Hinkley Point nuclear power station.

"Big Carl" is the world's biggest crane and is being used to construct the Hinkley Point nuclear power station
(Image via ITV)

Developed by Sarens, it’s named after Carl Sarens, the company’s director of solutions who has been looking after the project since the death of his father Benny last year.

Though it was nicknamed after Sarens director of solutions, it's official moniker is the SGC-250
(Image via Sky)

The 250m, 1,600 tonne crane is now the tallest man-made structure in the west country, and has been developed to support the growth of modularisation in big construction.

Big Carl stands at 250m tall
(Image via ITV)

It’s able to carry 5,000 tonnes in a single lift - the equivalent of around 1,600 cars or 32 single story houses. To do so, it is supported by 52 counterweight containers, each weighing 100 tonnes and 12 separate engines.

52 counterweights each weighing 100 tonnes support the crane
(Image via SomersetLive)

The crane itself took three months to build, and will be in place at the Hinkley site for the next four years. It will be used to lift more than 700 of the heavy, prefabricated pieces of the reactor building and other facilities from a bunker located nearby where they are built in factory conditions.

The crane will position 700 prefabricated modules of the Hinkley Point nuclear power station
(Image via SomersetLive)

The crane will run on 96 individual wheels over 6km of rail tracks.

The crane is one of a series of developments aimed at facilitating the modulisation of major construction projects
(Image via SomersetLive)

“The crane is an impressive piece of kit and a world beater,” said Rob Jordan, construction director for Hinkley Point C.

“It allows us to innovate in the way we build the power station, lifting complete pieces out of our factory bunkers and into place across the site.”

Take a look at Big Carl here:

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World’s largest crane deployed at Hinkley Point - Time to read 2 min
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