No longer is the 262-ft-tall Gantry crane going up in North Vancouver, B.C.’s, Vancouver Shipyards an unnamed giant crane. With the help of local elementary school students, we can call the 330-ton crane Hiyi Skwayel, Squamish for “Big Blue.”
And big it is.
Along with being 262 ft tall and 330 tons, the crane is 250-ft wide and will work to allow Seaspan Shipyards to efficiently deliver non-combat vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard.
The crane was originally constructed by a Chinese firm, Shanghai, and shipped to Vancouver as part of the shipyard’s $200 million modernization project. Due to the blue crane’s size, it was shipped in three large pieces — the fixed leg, hinged leg and main girder — along with thousands of smaller components from China via a deep-sea ship to Fraser Surrey Docks before being offloaded and transported to Seaspan’s North Vancouver location.
Assembly, hook-up, testing and commissioning of the crane may complete yet this summer, with an expected operation date of fall 2014.
“Once operational, this crane will play a pivotal role in our shipbuilding business well into the future,” says Brian Carter, president of Seaspan, in a statement. “Our new crane not only marks a major milestone in the government of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, but it also represents a permanent fixture in the North Shore skyline and the future of North Vancouver.”
The $20 million crane will operate in all weather except for extreme high winds and will build 17 ships over the next two to three decades.
Big Blue has a big job ahead of it.
Tim Newcomb is Engineering News-Record’s Pacific Northwest contributor. He also writes for Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated and more. You can follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb or visit his website here.