Dredging & Marine Construction

Liebherr Crane Assists Zeta S.r.l. in Port of Piombino Dredging

By Anna Townshend
In 2012 the Port of Piombino in Liverne Tuscany part of central Italy embarked on a long-term large-scale development project. The Port Regulatory Plan (PRP) includes deepening the commercial basin from 8 to 13 meters (26 to 43 feet) to 13 to 15 meters (43 to 49 feet) and deepening the access channel from 13 meters (43 feet) to 16 meters (52 feet). In total the PRP estimates that 3.4 million cubic meters (4.45 million cubic yards) of sediment will be removed.
The port city has a long industrial history beginning 2700 years ago when iron and other metals were worked in the ancient Etruscan city of Pupluna. The city made a fortune for centuries from iron copper and silver deposits. Eventually becoming a western Mediterranean industrial power the city remains a mainstay for iron working. Steelworking continues in the city today; it is the second largest production site in Italy using the integrated production cycle adopted first in Italy by Alti Formi e Fonderie di Piombino in 1908.
The current day port specializes in solid bulk cargo and steelworking products. Piombino is also the center of an important industrial production district. 
The expansion work at the port through 2020 will add sizeable infrastructure including new quays with depths up to 15 meters (49 feet). A new 350-meter long and 50-meter wide (1150-foot by 164-foot) dock will be built at the East Quay. The dock will be dredged to 20 meters (67 feet). Work on the landside includes additional road and rail connections. The project will create 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) of quaysides and around 800000 square meters (8610000 square feet) of new port space.
Dredging has already been done in front of the new quaysides to a depth of 13 meters (43 feet) and work continues on the overall port deepening.
This summer Italian contractor Zeta S.r.l. began dredging at the Port of Piombino at the entrance of the port. Sedimentation had reduced the mouth of the port to as little as 8 meters (26 feet). Zeta will also further deepen the entrance to 14 meters (46 feet). The six-month project will be completed in December.
The contractor is using a duty cycle crawler crane type HS8300 HD from Liebherr-Werk Nenzing GMbH based in Austria to remove 600000 cubic meters (785000 cubic yards) of sediment from the port entrance.
Zeta installed the HS 8300 HD without crawlers on its new hopper dredge Maria Vittoria Z built by Cantiere Navale Vittoria. The dredge has a 300-ton capacity 41-meter boom length 22.5 cubic meter (29 cubic yard) hydraulic clamshell grab from Italian manufacturer Rossi and a total weight of approximately 75 tons. The 84.2-meter-long dredge was delivered in 2016.
Because of the hydraulic grab system the closing/opening mechanism of the crane is very powerful said Gregor Griesser strategic marketing and communications with Liebherr and the clamshell can have more impact compared to conventional mechanical grabs. Additional spuds keep the barge in position during dredging operation.
Liebherr’s Pactronic® hydraulic hybrid drive system can increase turnover through the storage and subsequent reactivation of surplus energy also significantly reducing fuel consumption. The Liebherr crawler can achieve a 45-second working cycle (from start to finish including slewing lowering the grab closing the grab hoisting the grab slewing back and opening the grab). Another advantage of the system is reduced noise emission. 


In 2012 the port began a long-term development project to deepen the commercial basin to 13 to 15 meters (43 to 49 feet) and deepen the access channel to 16 meters (52 feet).

“Forty-five second is considered an extremely fast cycle” Griesser said. He said in general the dredging cycle time depends on dredging depth consistency of the dredged material and the power of the crane. The Maria Vittoria Z is loaded and unloaded by the HS 8300 HD up to four times each 15-hour working day.
On top of the diesel engine the Pactronic hydraulic power accumulators are charged by the lowering energy of the grab so that energy can be reused. This increases the total power of the crane 750 kW diesel engine to 1250 kW. Leibherr said that even with high turnover the duty cycle crawler crane has up to 50 percent lower diesel consumption (60 l/h) in comparison to similar models.
Mauro Boscolo CEO of Zeta S.r.l. was impressed with the environmental and economic advantages of the machine – particularly double the turnover but only half the diesel consumption.
With the large volume clamshell and short working cycles the Liebherr crane can handle 2000 tons of material per hour. It takes less than two hours to fully load the Maria Vittoria Z. 

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