Sophie Albrecht, member of the board of Liebherr International, handed over the symbolic key to Marc Sarens, director and member of the board at Sarens. The globally active Belgian company will use the Liebherr 2,500-ton crawler crane primarily in the renewable energy sector – for example, for handling offshore wind turbines.

For Sarens, the high capacity of the Liebherr LR 12500-1.0 was the decisive factor in purchasing the crane.

“The capacity of the LR 12500-1.0 is enormous. Operations in the renewable energy sector, such as here in Rostock, are a particular focus for the crawler crane. The handling of offshore wind turbines in ports is becoming more and more important and the individual weights of the components are constantly increasing.

The initial assembly of the new crane worked very well,” said Carl Sarens, director, Technical Solutions, Projects & Engineering, Sarens.

In Rostock, the LR 12500-1.0 will lift 50 monopiles with a diameter of up to 9.0m, a length of up to 90m and a weight of more than 1,400 tons into the water in tandem lifts with a Liebherr LR 1800- 1.0 over a period of about eight weeks. Including load handling attachments, the two cranes have gross loads of up to 1,750 tons to move.

The monopiles, huge foundations for offshore wind turbines, will then be pulled afloat to a special ship, which will then take them to the Baltic Eagle offshore wind farm, which is currently under construction. It is located about 30km north of the island of Rügen.

During the handover of the keys to the LR 12500-1.0, Albrecht, who is responsible for the mobile and crawler crane division within Liebherr Group, said: “Today would have been the 108th birthday of my grandfather and company founder Hans Liebherr.”

Sarens has given the new crawler crane its own name and dedicated it to a long-time employee: ‘Straffen Hendrik’. The Flemish word ‘straffen’ – meaning strength, goodness, robustness – characterises the experienced employee Hendrik Sanders. He has been working for the Belgian company for more than 30 years and is responsible for large cranes as a project planner.

In other news, PD Ports has installed two electric harbour cranes, as part of an £8.6m investment, at Tees Dock, Teesport, in the UK.

The Liebherr cranes – at 83m with the boom fully raised and with handling capacities from 100 to 140 tons – are electric/hydraulic-powered and offer a more environmentally conscious and efficient solution for loading and discharging a range of bulk commodities.

The cranes represent the latest in a string of investments made to support a growing demand as global customers continue to recognise Teesport as a hub for bulk commodities following the unveiling of the £12m Teesport Bulks Terminal in 2020.

Frans Calje, CEO at PD Ports, explained how the mobile harbour cranes are another significant step forward as the port operator aims for carbon neutrality: “I am delighted to see the new cranes in operation at Tees Dock. As a business, we are committed to driving positive change and building a more sustainable future. This investment signifies that whilst also ensuring we can uphold the highest operating standards.

“We recognise our responsibility to ourselves, our communities and our customers to reduce environmental impact, which is why we have set such ambitious decarbonisation targets – targets that we are well on track to exceed. “The incorporation of this equipment, coupled with our already attractive facilities at Tees Dock, ensure that PD Ports remains at the forefront of service excellence and delivery.

“Thanks to collective efforts over recent years, and the hard work of our people, coupled with a range of initiatives including the procurement of electric vehicles, conversion of existing equipment and the introduction of low and zero-emission energy sources, PD Ports’ CO2 emissions are already back to levels last seen in 2000.”

The company is now also on track to be carbon neutral by 2027, supporting its ambitions to become the UK’s most sustainable port operator.