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Below-the-hook equipment manufacturer Modulift recently refurbished two subsea spreader beams for a major subsea installation contractor before they were used to lift 260t and 280t manifolds for a field development offshore Libya.

The standard Modulift SUB 380 beams originally offered up to 380t at 9m or 30 ft. and up to 16m or 52 ft. at a lower capacity. However, in this case, Modulift re-rated the capacity to 364t working load limit (WLL) with +1.5 dynamic amplification factor (DAF). The drop links were re-rated to 200t WLL, also with 1.5 DAF, and new data plates were added accordingly.

Chris Schwab, account executive at Modulift, explained that the identical spreaders’ original DAF was 1.8. He added: “The principle reason for refurbishing the beams was so they could be reused on another project that required an additional strut to achieve a new span, and they needed to be re-rated to a higher capacity, yet lower DAF.”

It was necessary to manufacture new 0.95m struts for each beam and shotblast all existing components. Extensive testing was conducted on welds, plus new spans and capacities. The drop links had already been tested to a sufficient capacity as part of an earlier project, thus, additional testing for these was not required.

Also included within the scope of work was the supply of new bolts and preparation of a calculations report so DNV could carry out verification against its Loadout, Transport and Installation of Subsea Objects criteria (DNV-OS-H206).

Unlike Modulift's standard spreader beams that are manufactured using circular hollow sections, the subsea range has an open section design, suitable for water submersion by eliminating the risks of cavity or pressure issues. They are finished with a three-coat paint system that is based on a two-pack epoxy paint system suitable for the marine heavy lifting environment.

The physical size of the manifolds—fabricated in Ravenna, Italy—meant that they could only be brought offshore via a barge. Ground loading and crane capacity issues on site resulted in a requirement for a tandem crane lift. The installation vessel, however, had a single crane so to simulate the installation lift a single point lift was required. Schwab explained that the structures land on pre-installed guideposts and piles on the seabed so the structures require a very tight tolerance on installation level / trim.

To achieve a simulated offshore single point lift, Modulift provided a MOD250/400 spreader beam and associated rigging to ‘join’ the two site cranes together using an inverted spreader bar arrangement. The SUB 380 spreader bar on each structure was connected to the structure via high performance synthetic slings and ROV-friendly shackles to form the installation rigging arrangement on the structures.

Once subsea the Manifolds will act to combine power, communications, service fluids and production pipework from multiple gas wells into a single main pipeline / umbilical system.


Rental firm Bryson Crane employed two spreader beams, manufactured by Modulift, below-the-hook of a Terex all-terrain crane to lift the first of 17 90,000-lb. prefabricated buildings into position at a communications tower in Edgewater, Florida.

The MOD 50 spreaders, which offer up to 50t capacity at 8m or 26 ft. and up to 13m or 42 ft. at a lower capacity, were used with slings, shackles, and rolling blocks, as the 130t capacity Terex Explorer 5500 employed its 60m-long main boom to lift and move the unit 30 ft.

Bryson, of Florida’s Dayton Beach, accepted the scope of work from a local power company to relocate the communications buildings. The structures, which measure 12 ft. x 20 ft. x 10 ft. and all weigh approx. the same, contain switches, breakers, and other equipment required to run the substation.

Scott Woodward, facilities manager at Modulift distributor I&I Sling Inc., from where the below-the-hook rig was sourced, explained that Bryson’s biggest challenge was presented by an offset centre of gravity, caused by backup batteries that are housed at one end. Four rolling blocks were mounted to the spreader beams to counter the offset in weight.

Ray Rutt, operations manager at Bryson, said: “By adding length to the rigging, we were able to ensure that each bottom sling that was connected to each pair of lifting points was equally tensioned by the wire rope moving over the roller. This particular rig configuration will commonly warrant the use of rolling blocks.”

He continued: “We opted for a very compact rig to reduce the height and keep the spreader bars close to the load. This rig is more commonly used when there are four bottom lifting points [not eight as in this case] and the rig height is crucial. As there were a greater number of lifting points, the rolling blocks were a requirement.”

Rutt added that Bryson selected the spreader beam configuration versus a lifting frame because it already owned one MOD 50 and it made sense to acquire an additional unit. At the time of going to press, the 17 lifts are scheduled over the coming weeks.

Bryson’s crane operators are certified through the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO). Its varied fleet offers customers up to 600-ton lifting capacity in addition to forklift trucks and rigging personnel. Utilities, construction, aerospace, and marine industries are just a few of the sectors it serves.

For further information on our Engineered Lifting Products, from design to manufacture, please contact Modulift on +44 (0)1202 621511 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Baltic mobile crane rental company Strele Logistics supplied lifting and rigging equipment, including a Modulift spreader beam, as a 49t chimney was installed at a biological waste treatment facility in Kaunas, Lithuania last month (February).

Strele accepted a scope of work to load the 35m-long, 2.75m-diameter pipe where it was manufactured at Enerstena Group’s facility, 3km away, and erect it in its final location. It was first loaded onto a semi-trailer (a trailer without a front axle) using two 15t capacity overhead cranes that were already installed in the building, and a 90t Faun ATF90G-4 mobile crane. Haulage firm Klaipedos Transekspedicija took care of overnight transportation to the jobsite.

The following morning, a 500t capacity Liebherr LTM1500-8.1 and 200t capacity Terex AC200—the latter was used for tailing—combined in tandem lift to complete the project. Below-the-hook of the Liebherr, a MOD 70 beam was used at 3m in length, to accommodate rigging points manufactured onto the outside of the chimney.

Jokūbas Slavinskas, project manager at Strele, explained that at one stage a second spreader beam was considered with the Terex but synthetic slings were opted for instead. In total, four 10m-long roundslings, four 7m-long steel cables, two 25t shackles, two 55t shackles, and two 85t shackles (the last four were connected to the spreader beam) combined to complete the lift.

Slavinskas said: “The steel cables were rigged on the rigging loops of the chimney. We could not use synthetic slings because the friction force could have burnt them during the erection process. The tandem lift was the most reliable option. There were alternatives but they were economically and logistically inferior.”

Slavinskas recalled the lifting process: the Terex crane had to tail the chimney to the position of 15m from the Liebherr to the centre of the pipe. Then the main crane took the chimney alone and mounted it on the foundation. The only problem to overcome was turning the truck transporting the chimney 90 degrees, which required some of the site’s waste pile to be cleared away.

He added: “The lifting process took no more than three hours. It took more time to assemble the main crane [four hours] and then to disassemble it [four hours, again]. While there was only one lift involved in this project, Strele has completed hundreds of projects of this kind. One peculiarity was that chimneys are more commonly erected in multiple pieces of, say, 20m in length.”

Of the MOD 70 spreader beam, that can lift up to 70t at 10.5m or 33 ft. and up to 14m or 45 ft. at a lower capacity, Slavinskas said: “It performed well; it offered us what we needed and it was delivered in a timely fashion. Actually, we took the job without having the appropriate beam in stock, although we were already in contact with Modulift and were able to accelerate the buying process. The lift will live long in the memory as the day after [16 February] was a national celebration to mark 100 years of Lithuania’s independence and we were lucky the beam arrived in time so we avoided working on such an important day for the country.”

Strele has an extensive fleet of mobile cranes at yards in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Sweden.

 For further information on our Engineered Lifting Products, from design to manufacture, please contact Modulift on +44 (0)1202 621511 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Modulift has supplied two large spreader beams to complete a rig that will lift 20 wind farm jacket foundations onto vessels at ST3 Offshore’s dockside location in Szczecin, Poland, close to the country’s northwestern border with Germany. The jackets are bound for Cuxhaven and will eventually be installed at the Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm.

The two beams, MOD 400/600s, both 8m-long, were used in an inverted configuration above another Modulift beam, an 800/1000, which was hired in from Schmidbauer GmbH & Co. KG. The beams combined with shackles and other rigging gear, including delta plates, to form the rig beneath the hooks of a rail-mounted, 117m-high, 1,400t capacity gantry crane.

The 400/600s offer up to 600t at 14m or 44 ft. and up to 24m or 78 ft. at a lower capacity, while the 800/1000 can lift up to 1,000t at 15m or 51 ft. and up to 26m or 85 ft. at a lower capacity. The foundation jackets weigh 700t apiece and stand 52m high. They are lifted in their entirety onto a barge that can transport three at a time.

John Baker, sales and marketing director at Modulift, explained that the top two 400/600 beams were used in an inverted (upside down) configuration to utilise the four hoist hooks on the crane, and allow the lower slings to come down to a single point on top of the lower 1,000t beam; below that again, two delta plates and a horizontal sling created the vertical angle for the bottom slings that attached the rig to the top of each jacket.

Baker added: “Modulift spreader beams are put into compression when loaded so another beam wouldn’t have been suitable at the bottom of the rig between the delta plates because the forces applied are tensile rather than compressive. A wire rope grommet acted as a tie sling between the delta plates and created the vertical sling angle for the bottommost slings in the rig.”

ST3’s facility is specifically designed for the production of transition pieces, jacket foundations and offshore wind foundation components and other large fabricated structures. In this case, the jacket foundations will be assembled at their destination with 10m-high suction buckets, used to anchor the structures. Water will be pumped out of the buckets to lower pressure and, combined with the weight of the foundation, the structures will sink to the sea floor.

At the time of writing, the first phase of loadout remains ongoing. The rig will stay in Szczecin for the duration of the project. A different lifting and rigging solution will take the weight of offload and installation at Borkum, which is one of the largest offshore power plants in Germany, with a capacity of 450MW, expected to supply electricity to nearly 500,000 households per year.

Baker concluded: “It has been fascinating to spend time at the Szczecin site and work with the great team there to consult on this below-the-hook application. The inverted solution was an effective way to utilise the four hoists on the crane and further innovation was demonstrated by the delta plates further down the rig. We are continuing to welcome greater demand from the wind energy sector and look forward to meeting many more challenges in the future.”

 For further information on our Engineered Lifting Products, from design to manufacture, please contact Modulift on +44 (0)1202 621511 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Heathrow Airport

The Multi Spreader Beam Rig was designed by the Modulift Engineers for lifting the various parts of the pre-fabricated building sections, used in the terminal expansion programme that took place during 2004/2005.

Gatwick Airport

Modulift designed and manufactured the custom formation of a Lifting Beam and 3 x MOD 24 Spreader Beams, in order to lift a concrete based walkway at Gatwick airport.


The train bound for the Transilien section of the French railway was being lifted from its vehicle transporter using a Multi Spreader Beam Rig, custom designed for balanced lifting of the 5 carriage train.