Facilitating a Refinery Column Placement in Tight Confines

Transporting, placing, and lifting a refinery column — one that is comparable to the height and weight of the Statue of Liberty — is a familiar challenge for heavy lift, heavy haul experts like Deep South. Maneuvering it around existing racks and systems adds another layer of complexity.

In one particularly challenging case, Deep South faced all of the above for a 555,000-pound and almost 147-foot-long refinery column. The 23’ 10” diameter column had to be transported via barge to the refinery’s roll-off site and into the refinery to the lift location. The team used a Scheuerle 16-line double-wide to complete the transport safely.

Once in position at the plant, crews maneuvered the cranes to work within the tight space and around the existing systems.

Steven Gouner, project engineer with Deep South, said, “The setup location for the VersaCrane CC-9600 was tight since it was built in a unit being constructed that was completely surrounded by existing 40’ tall pipe racks. Real estate in the unit was scarce.”

The first move required cranes to lift the column horizontally over the pipe racks. Once over the pipe rack, the column was tailed up to a vertical position. Key in the move was to ensure that the counterweight trays on the main lift crane and tailing crane floated through the entire lift.

Deep South’s crew relied on a main lift crane and tailing crane combination. They used a 750-ton VersaCrane CC-9600 in configuration 6 with a 200’ boom as the main lift crane with a 406,000-pound main counterweight and a 740,000-pound hinge counterweight. As well, a 440-ton Terex-Demag CC-2400-1 in SSL configuration was used as a tailing crane with a 177.2’ boom and a 264,600-pound auxiliary counterweight.

Deep South placed the refinery column exactly to the client's specifications with safety and efficiency.


About Deep South: Deep South Crane & Rigging is a leading provider of heavy lift and transport solutions in the refining, chemical, and energy sectors and strives to provide its customers the best tools to complete the task at hand and is home of the VersaCrane fleet. The firm offers a complete range of services, from bare crane rental to turn-key heavy lift and transport solutions to clients in North and South America. It operates out of 7 locations including Baton Rouge, LA; Sulphur, LA; New Orleans, LA; Dequincy, LA; Beaumont, TX; Houston, TX; and Catlettsburg, KY. Sister company DS Americas operates out of Bogota, Colombia. Recent recognition includes 2018 Houston Business Roundtable (HBR) Best of the Best Safety Excellence Award, 2019 Mentor Award, and 2020 Finalist; 2018 Industrial Safety Training Council (ISTC) Safety Achievement Award; 2018, 2020 and 2021 Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance (GBRIA) Contractor Safety Excellence Award, Crane & Rigging; 2019 Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance (GBRIA) Workforce Development Best of Division OneAward; 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SCRA) Safety Award; 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Louisiana Worker's Compensation Corporation (LWCC) Safest 70); 2021 Texas Mutual Platinum Safety Partner Award; and 2021 Safety Council of Southwest Louisiana (SWLA) Silver Level Contractor Safety Performance Award.

Pressed for Time

A vehicle manufacturer’s large stamping press—a massive machine used for shaping body panels—is online and operational thanks to efficient installation by Deep South. The three primary components included a 181-ton press bed (27.72’ L x 16.4’ W x 13.12’ H), 250-ton press crown (28.38’ L x 16.4’ W x 13.12’ H) and a 92-ton press slide (21’ x 10.83’ x 10.5’).


Multi-Module Mission

The heavy haul transport of oil and gas refinery components is always a challenge. Transporting 17 modules, all in the span of two weeks, raised the bar. The modules varied greatly in size and weight. Two of the modules exceeded 260,000 lbs., while 11 were more than 16’ high, three were more than 19’ high, and 13 had widths greater than 18’. Initially, the customer had trouble finding a company to move the modules to their site in Texas.


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