Engine swap for veteran crane

HHLA IV: complex engine work HHLA IV:complex engine work
Industry Database

Hamburg port operators HHLA have installed new high-performance diesels from Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC) on their veteran floating crane HHLA IV, replacing what were described as “remarkable” MAN units which have served for nearly 60 years, writes Germany correspondent Tom Todd.

HHLA said the engine swap became necessary when no further spare parts were available for HHLA IV’s two MAN G6 V23.5/33 diesels each off 379kW. They were installed in the old crane when it was completed in 1957 at Hamburg shipyard Blohm+Voss. They have now been replaced by two Type 6 DXC diesels, each of 552kW, from ABC in what HHLA said was a “complex” project.

Thomas Koch, responsible for HHLA’s floating cranes and managine director of the operator’s Tollerort and Rosshafen handling terminals, told The Motorship the long life of the old MAN engines had been “absolutely remarkable”. They had to be eventually replaced because of “very pronounced wear and tear towards the end”, he said.

“We switched to ABC because these engines demonstrated they were the best under the circumstances,” Koch said. Because of the rigid coupling on the crane’s two Voith-Schneider drives “the [new] engines needed to provide their rated output at 600rpm,” he added.

Specialists Unterweser-Industries (UWIND) in Bremerhaven handled the entire project. It covered planning, engineering and obtaining the required shipbuilding approvals, through dismantling and removal of the old engines, the conversion of engine foundations and the installation of new engines. Pipe-work was developed for individual systems and new electrical connections were installed. The UWIND team also developed temporary generators to keep HHLA IV in operation during the engine swap.

HHLA IV lifts up to 200 tonnes and handles the heavier cargos in the Port of Hamburg. It weighs 2,750 tonnes itself and can be steered with millimetre precision even with a full load. 

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