Ten Manitowoc cranes
are working on the construction
of a remote
dam in South Africa. The
De Hoop (The Hope) Dam will be
81 metres tall and stretch more
than 1 km over the Steelpoort
River in Limpopo, South Africa. It
is being built for the South African
Department of Water Affairs.
The Manitowoc cranes on the
project are a mix of Potain tower
cranes, a Manitowoc crawler
crane and Grove mobile cranes.
The cranes perform a variety of
lifting tasks, which will change as
the project progresses. But all
work is related to constructing the
outlet works of the dam, which
will require 930,000 cubic metres
of concrete to complete. Jobs
include assembling conveyors
and concrete batching plants,
placing shuttering and reinforced
steel, installing mechanical items
in the outlet works, damage
recovery and pouring concrete.
The location and terrain are two
major challenges on site. The dam
sits in the middle of an untouched
rural landscape, in a river valley
with steep slopes of loose soil running
either side. To complicate
matters, a river diversion also runs
through the site.
Henry Wells, Managing Director,
Crane Load Tech, said the
company had to construct roads to
ease transport of the mobile and
"We are used to working on job
sites with restricted access, but De
Hoop is among the most extreme,"
he said. "On the project we've built
temporary access roads across the
slopes and contours so the cranes
can travel the undulating terrain.
We were able to maneouver the
cranes to where they can offer
maximum coverage and the most
efficient delivery of materials."
John Baker, chief engineer of the
South African Department of
Water Affairs, said the wide range
of cranes on the job helps the project
proceed on schedule.
"We chose a variety of cranes so
we could handle any of the challenges
of such a difficult terrain,"
he said. "Large areas of the site are
difficult to negotiate, so the mobile
cranes are essential for accessing
certain areas. The tower cranes
provide the height and reach to
cover large areas of the dam and
the crawler crane handles the
heavier lifts. The cranes work well
as a team, and their reliability
means this five-year project
remains on schedule."
A 25-ton Potain MD 485 B is
pouring the majority of the concrete.
For smaller lifts, there is
also a 4-ton Potain Igo 50 selferecting
Quentin van Breda, Executive
Chairman of SA French, said the
Potain MD 485 B is playing a critical
role in the construction.
"The special application crane
on this project is really at the center
of construction," he said. "It is
responsible for such a large part of
the dam that it must maintain its
performance throughout the contract.
Our 30 years of experience
working with Potain special application
cranes means we can confidently
place these cranes on critical
projects. Our customers rely
on our expertise."
There are several other Manitowoc
cranes on the site as well.
From the company's crawler crane
line there is a 90-ton Model
10000, popular for its simple erection,
reliability and easy operation.
The Grove mobile cranes on
site include the truck-mounted
TMS700E, which has a 60-ton
capacity and the 60-ton RT760E
and 30-ton RT530E from the
rough-terrain crane line.
The cranes on the De Hoop
project have been there since
April 2009 and will remain on
site for another two years. The
South African Department of
Water Affairs is building the dam
as a bulk storage facility to supplement
water supply. The dam will be
complete by August 2012.