New Record Set by Crane at NYPA’s
January 10, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEWISTON—Without so much as a creak or groan, the
Niagara Project’s largest gantry crane last month hoisted 18 massive water
bags, weighing approximately 694 tons, setting a new national record for
“The crane performed just as we expected it would,
following our completion of a major overhaul of the equipment,” said Gene
Zeltmann, New York Power Authority (NYPA) president and chief operating
officer. “Essentially, this is a brand new crane.”
“Among other things, we replaced the cables, drive
motors and braking systems,” said Ed Szpala, Niagara construction manager,
noting that the work was completed over a three-month period.
“Other than its steel framework, or skeleton, we
replaced virtually every component,” said Ron Ciamaga, NYPA regional
manager, Western New York.
The largest of five cranes at the Niagara Project—the
refurbished crane is designed to lift up to 630 tons. More weight was added
to last week’s test to ensure an additional level of safety to the
Standing 90 feet high and 60 feet wide, the overhauled
crane rolls along rail tracks at the project’s main generating facility, the
Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant. The crane is part of the original
equipment, dating back to 1961, when NYPA completed the 2,400,000-kilowatt
Niagara Project and put it into service.
As the main crane at the Moses plant, the apparatus is
used for maintenance and repairs of the facility’s 13 turbine-generators,
lifting rotors and other major components of the units. The turbine
generators are currently being upgraded, one at a time, as part of a
multi-year project in which eight units have so far been upgraded. The work
on the remaining units is scheduled to be completed by 2006.
It took on-site fire hydrants nearly five hours to fill
the water bags for the crane test, which was undertaken on the evening of
Dec. 19. NYPA is planning a similar overhaul of the main gantry crane at the
Lewiston Pump-Generating Plant—the Niagara Project’s auxiliary generating
facility—for this fall.
The new water weight record broke the previous U.S.
mark for gantry cranes—605 tons—set in Louisiana in 1999, in connection with
the assembling of an offshore oil drilling platform.