Second Condra crane to be installed at Saiccor Mill’s Feed Three dryer line

08 Dec 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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Crane manufacturer Condra Cranes has completed the manufacture of a service and maintenance crane for Saiccor Mill’s Feed Three pulp dryer line at Umkomaas, in KwaZulu-Natal.

The double-girder electric overhead travelling crane incorporates three hoists, namely a 25 t main lifting unit and two 12.5 t auxiliaries, which are mechanically synchronised for tandem operation as well as offering individual lift.

The crane, which is able to service all machinery on the dryer line’s 80 × 25 m floor area, will be installed through the plant’s roof, as manoeuvrability on the dryer line floor is limited by on-site machinery that makes conventional access and installation impossible.

Production will not be interrupted during the installation, when all components of the new crane, including end-carriages, 25-m-long box girders, crabs and hoists, are lowered through an aperture in the plant’s roof and precisely positioned for on-site crane assembly.

Condra Cranes will work in collaboration with three of its subcontractors – Durban-based Yellow Dot Coatings, Lovemore Bros and Natal Cranes – to complete the complex operation.

Yellow Dot Coatings has been appointed to open the plant’s roof, after which Lovemore Bros will rig all components and use its 550 t mobile crane to lower them – one-by-one above and through the roof opening – precisely into position for crane assembly by Condra Crane’s Durban-based agent Natal Cranes.

After installation, Natal Cranes will also oversee commissioning, which is scheduled at Saiccor Mill for early in 2024.

Condra’s 12.5/25/12.5 t electric overhead travelling crane becomes the second crane to work at Feed Three, joining a single-girder overhead crane manufactured by Condra in 1984, and was ordered as part of Sappi’s R7.7-billion upgrade and expansion of the company’s Saiccor Mill.

“The pulp dryer line to be serviced by the new crane is noted for a corrosive environment resulting from the use of steam-heated drying cylinders to dry the sheet-form pulp ahead of packing and shipping,” Condra Cranes said in a statement.

Crane platforms have been fitted with fibreglass grating instead of steel chequer plate and all crane components coated with a special anticorrosion finish.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor