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Oran, Skikda, and Hassi Messouad.

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A Look At The Biggest, Boldest Cranes On The Planet: Sarens SGCs

A Look At The Biggest, Boldest Cranes On The Planet: Sarens SGCs

From the record-smashing SGC-250 to the strong and sustainable SGC-90, Sarens cranes are taking the world to new heights

The Sarens Giant Cranes (SGCs) are the biggest cranes on the planet, and have been built for a world where nothing is impossible. Packed with Sarens’ innovative engineering, these cranes were designed entirely in-house and combine stability, precision, safety, and novel design to streamline on-site project work. Our family of SGC cranes are the future of super-heavy lifting, confidently handling the highest and heaviest loads the world has ever seen.

SGC-250 led the pack with its launch as the world’s biggest land-based crane. Inaugurated in 2018, the SGC-250 was nicknamed the “Big Carl” after our director of technical solutions, Carl Sarens. It boasts a 5.000T lifting capacity and load moment of 250.000MT. The Big Carl boldly took on its first assignment at the Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Plant in the UK, one of the largest construction projects in the world. With its ability to relocate, fully rigged, from one lifting position to another, the SGC-250 has brought precedent-breaking innovation to the global crane industry.

SGC-140 is not only one of the biggest cranes in the world, it is also fully “containerisable.” All of its power and potential can fit perfectly into standard 40-foot containers, which can later be used as counterweight on site. With its 130-metre boom and 3.200T lifting capacity, the SGC-140 is known for its compact footprint and low ground-bearing pressures. 

SGC-120 can lift up to 3.200T to millimetre precision, moving around a compact 38,4-metre diameter ring base. We’ve often called it the SGC-140’s “little brother,” but make no mistake: there is nothing little about this mega-crane, also known as Big Benny, in homage to the late Benny Sarens, a pioneer in the design of this first crane among the SGC family members. 

SGC-90 a fully-electric crane that generates its own energy. A giant of epic proportions, it boasts a 130-metre boom length as high as the Great Pyramid of Giza. With its compact, 35-metre ring diameter and 1.650T lifting capacity, this mighty crane is strong, silent, and sustainable. Nicknamed Little Celeste after the daughter Matthias Sarens who lead the design of this machine, the SGC-90 is leading the way into a sustainable future and, we hope, inspiring more women to join us there so we can bring the heavy lifting sector to new heights. 

These cranes reflect the people and values that have transformed Sarens into a force that spans the world and leads the industry in record-breaking heavy lifting operations. 

This month, we spoke to Carl Sarens, Director of Global Operations, Technical Solutions, and Engineering, about where these cranes are stationed now and what we can expect from them next!

An Inside Look at the World of Sarens’ Super Giant Cranes

HEAVYWEIGHT NEWS (HWN): We have four Sarens Giant Cranes in our arsenal. Where is each of these cranes right now, and what projects are they working on?

CARL SARENS (CS): The SGCs have been involved in projects across the globe. In 2023, we will see our SGC-250 continue to work on the Hinkley Point C project, with the ultimate goal of helping achieve the UK’s carbon emission targets. Meanwhile, our SGC-120 will be stationed at a petrochemical project in India, and our SGC-140 will be deployed on a construction project in Israel.

Our first fully electric crane, the SGC-90, will be in Massy, south of Paris, where it will be replacing two bridges in July and August. It was previously on site at the Valero refinery in Wales and another refinery in Balikpapan, Indonesia. 

HWN: Why do clients prefer to work with the SGCs, and what is their added value?

CS: Each of the SGC cranes has a small footprint with low ground pressure, in combination with high load moment capacities. Another unique feature is their capability to boom up/down for every boom/jib combination without depending on assistance cranes.

But the biggest value we add is the custom solutions and engineering we offer to clients. Because we engineer and manufacture the cranes ourselves, we can update and adapt all of our SGC cranes to create new boom and jib configurations to suit a client’s specific project needs–and often in a very narrow timeframe. In short, we can adapt any existing crane to suit any future project. Not everyone in our industry can say the same. 

HWN: Which sectors can Sarens’ SGC cranes serve? 

CS: Offshore wind and nuclear power are becoming more and more important, and our SGCs are ideally suited to these sectors. Beyond new builds in the energy sector, particularly renewables and nuclear, SGCs can handle any type of modular project. Of course, we are also positioned to support construction projects in petrochemical, refinery, and civil sectors, as well as modularisation projects in civil and shipbuilding (like FPSO). As we say here at Sarens, there is truly nothing too heavy or too high for these massive cranes.

HWN: We are often asked the popular question: How much bigger can cranes get? What role do you hope Sarens plays in advancing our industry?

CS: The demand in the renewables sector, particularly floating wind, brings with it the need for higher load moment capacities combined with the capability to lift turbines at extreme heights. At Sarens, we are actively engaged in these markets as a frontrunner and thus have the required in-house capacity to answer these growing needs.

 HWN: Although we are a global company with immense projection, Sarens is known for its Flemish modesty, its work ethic, keeping our heads down, and letting our actions and projects, small or big, speak for themselves. Despite that, as one of the main thinking heads behind the creation of the SGC cranes, and considering how popular they are, can you tell our fans what you felt every time the design, assembly, and first testing of an SGC crane was completed?

CS: I’m always very proud to see the achievement of the team, but the reaction of the industries upon every launch has also always been very positive and highly motivating. 

HWN: Thank you, Carl! Altius, fortius, citius!

CS: Thank you and rest assured that we are on it. 

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