75-Ton Bridge Crane Requires Unique Design for Cross-Continent Transport in Africa

Crane Systems | By STAHL CraneSystems | Apr 14, 2017

In 2015, the certified partner of STAHL CraneSystems, Stahl Cranes & Hoists, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, received a special order: a two-beam bridge crane fitted with STAHL CraneSystems technology. The challenge: manufactured in Johannesburg, this crane would need to be transported by both land and sea to Ghana, located more than 10,000 km away. To make this possible, a special solution was needed.  

The order from Orsam Oil and Gas South Africa (Ortec) reached Stahl Cranes & Hoists in October 2015, requested a two-beam bridge crane with a total lifting capacity of 75 tons for General Electric work in Ghana. To fulfil this request, STAHL CraneSystems produced an AS 7 wire rope hoist at its plant in Künzelsau, Germany, with an SH wire rope hoist as an auxiliary hoist. The crane components for the project, such as the controls and drives, were also delivered to Johannesburg by STAHL CraneSystems. Here, Stahl Cranes & Hoists completed and assembled the two-beam bridge crane.

The long journey
How could such a massive crane make the long journey from Johannesburg to Ghana?

Working with engineers from STAHL CraneSystems, the team at Stahl Cranes & Hoists developed a unique, ingenious beam construction made up of three individual parts. This way, after it had been successfully assembled in the plant in Johannesburg, the crane could be dismantled and packed into two containers approximately 12 m long. These containers were then be transported 600 km by land to Africa’s largest container docks in Durban. From there, the crane was shipped by sea to Ghana, over 9,000 km away.

To maintain to the project’s tight schedule, Stahl Cranes & Hoists’ technical team also travelled to Ghana. The engineers were supported by the expert staff of Orsam Oil and Gas, who were actively involved in the work until completion of the project on site at the end customer, General Electric. Together, they re-assembled, installed and commissioned the crane.

When conducting load testing, the team had to overcome a few challenges. Ghana had been in an energy crisis for four years, and the country even had problems with running water as well. Initially, water was delivered by tanker to fill the BigBags, but these could not achieve the necessary reliable water pressure. This made testing the SMC and SLE output devices more difficult. The inclement weather conditions and the rough terrain also impeded progress. However, after a few days of diligent work, all tests were successfully completed, and the crane system was put into operation – on time. 

Thanks to effective communication and team work between STAHL CraneSystems, Stahl Cranes & Hoists, Ortec South Africa and Ortec Ghana, the project ended up a success.

An intercontinental project: The crane system from Stahl Cranes & Hoists from South Africa was erected in General Electric’s new plant in Ghana with the technology of STAHL CraneSystems from Künzelsau.


The AS 7 wire rope hoist and SH auxiliary hoist are manufactured in Künzelsau before the long journey to South Africa.