Giant crane towers over NWS gas project

A giant crane weighing in at 800 tonnes is making its presence felt on Australia's biggest resource project. Affectionately known as 'Big Red', the DEMAG CG 4800 is the biggest and strongest of more than 40 cranes on site.

The German-made crane, which is powered by a Mercedes Benz motor, possesses a 90 metre boom together with tracks that weigh a mammoth 76 tonnes each.

The bulk of the cranes work involves moving 8500 tonnes of steel, 15,000 lengths of pipes and 180 jobs fitting special equipment, including two $10 million-a-piece cryogenic heat exchangers - the core of the LNG processing train.

According to the lift operator of 'Big Red', lifting involves a great deal of skill as well as care, with each lift over 20 tonnes subject to a lift analysis exercise by engineers.

The Woodside-operated North West Shelf gas project is currently undergoing a $1.6 billion expansion which includes the fourth LNG processing train.