Under the agreement, Konecranes will supply two 225USt cranes to be used in the turbine hall of Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelting facility in remote, mountainous British Columbia, Canada.
Rio Tinto Alcan’s Kitimat, British Columbia operations location supplies aluminum products for the Pacific Rim area. It is currently modernizing its smelter at the site, costing around $3.3bn.

The turnkey contract specifies two 225USt Smarton range powerhouse cranes that will be supplied with a tandem lift option. The contract also includes installation and remote diagnostics in addition to an operator training package using the resourses of the Konecranes Training Institute.

Commenting on Rio Tinto’s decision, Konecranes regional sales manager Joseph Botros said: "The same concern for safety and redundant systems characteristic of Rio Tinto Alcan’s operating mandate is what led the organization to look at options for their powerhouse cranes."

“Initially they asked for options on modernizing the existing 50-year-old cranes, but soon moved on to looking at new crane technology that could assist crane operators and maintenance people working in a remote location."

Konecranes said that its anti-sway and shock load prevention, and remote access configuration met the safety and usability requirements of Rio Tinto Alcan operators working in the remote region.

“Working at a site removed from metropolitan service centers, local managers were impressed that we could monitor their cranes remotely and help prevent breakdowns," said Botros.

“If there is a problem, we can help solve it as expeditiously as possible."

Maintenance will be performed by two auxiliary hoists that are used for handling water pumps, circulating pumps and rotors, among a range of functions.

Konecranes described the installation with each crane having one monorail hoist plus an auxiliary trailer that follows the main hoist.

The two cranes together can perform tandem lifts with a combined capacity of 450t. The cranes will be built in Franklin, OH, delivered by barge, and installed in July 2012.