Condra clinches second maintenance crane order from Sappi’s Saiccor Mill

24 May 2024

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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Crane manufacturer Condra Cranes is manufacturing a second maintenance crane for turbine maintenance duty at Sappi’s Saiccor Mill, in Umkomaas, KwaZulu-Natal.

This followed an order last year, and commissioning in March this year, of a 12.5/25/12.5 t overhead travelling crane for one of the mill’s dryer lines.

Saiccor Mill’s second Condra crane is scheduled for delivery later this year to coincide with a planned shutdown for plant maintenance.

According to a Condra spokesperson, both cranes are part of Sappi’s R7.7-billion expansion and upgrade programme to position Saiccor as one of the world’s leaders in dissolving pulp production.

The new 25 t crane, similar to its predecessor, will have an identical double-girder, 25 m span frame. The two cranes only differ in the number of hoists, with the new crane having one, compared with the three on the first crane.

“Load lifts on both cranes are failsafe, with secondary emergency brakes on the hoists’ rope drums backing up standard brakes on the electric motors,” the spokesperson added in a statement to Engineering News & Mining Weekly.

Condra Cranes will use corrosion-resistant materials to manufacture specific components, and apply a high-spec coating to girders, end- carriages and the hoist itself, which will protect the crane when it is deployed in highly corrosive environments.

Further, the handrails will be of stainless steel, with platforms and walkways made from fibreglass grating instead of ordinary steel tread plate.

Condra Cranes will fit armoured power cables and insulate all stainless steel motor and electrical panels to IP65 standard.

“The design of both cranes will facilitate simple maintenance by authorised agent Natal Cranes. Our South Coast partner has spare parts holdings more than sufficient to ensure the fastest possible repair and maximum machine uptime. Overall lifetime cost will be the lowest possible,” the spokesperson adds.

“We have a third crane – a single-girder machine – that has been working at Saiccor Mill for 40 years, so Natal Cranes already has a good working relationship with the staff at Saiccor, and long experience of the operating environment there. We are ready to ensure maximum machine uptime for the new double-girder installations,” he concludes.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor