The heavy lifting crane, London’s largest crane, is now ready to begin work on site at Earls Court. The Earls Court development, led by Capital & Counties Properties PLC will create 8,000 homes and 10,000 new jobs as well as a new High Street and a new five-acre park in London.

Demolition of the former exhibition centres to ground level is complete after two years of intensive work on site, managed by Capco’s construction partner, Keltbray. The crane is the most visible part of the important site preparation that will take place throughout 2017 to prepare the site for future construction.

The heavy lifting crane (technical name: AL.SK190 crane) is an industry-leading innovation and was designed and manufactured by specialist engineering firm, ALE. The crane will carefully lift 61 ‘portal beams’ out from over the London Underground lines that lie below the former exhibition centres. The large concrete beams supported the weight of the exhibition centre and need to be removed to enable development on site.

The smallest beam is 80 tonnes with the largest beam weighing 1,500 tonnes, the same as 118 London buses. This crane was specifically chosen as the optimum engineering solution and the method has been designed to minimise the impact on local residents, to help reduce the carbon footprint of the project and will significantly shorten the project timescales.

The crane is 120m high which is more than twice the height of Nelson’s Column and is the largest capacity lifting crane ever to be used in London. The crane will operate only on the Earls Court site and will not oversail any of the nearby properties.

Speaking about the progress on the site, Mike Hood, Group Development Director, Capco said: “We are making good progress at Earls Court to prepare the site for future development. The heavy lifting crane is the most visible part of this work and will be part of the London skyline for the next year. We know there is huge interest in the crane and we are encouraging people to visit the Earls Court Project Rooms for our monthly open day to find out more.”

David Rowe, Technical Manager for Keltbray, the specialist contractor overseeing the site works at Earls Court added: “By utilising this crane and lifting method, disruption is minimised and the crane’s high capacity and precision lifting technology will reduce the overall project timescale considerably. With the successful demolition of the former exhibition centres last year the lifting of the large portal beams is the next big task at Earls Court as we prepare the site for construction. The project team has worked tirelessly to ensure the most appropriate technology was chosen and implemented in order to minimise
disruption to our neighbours.”

Giovanni Alders, Sales Manager, Global Projects Division for ALE said: “Operationally, this crane can perform lifts previously unachievable and reinforces the innovation seen throughout the whole project. We are looking forward to progressing with the project and executing the first lift.”

The first lifts will take place in late March 2017. The lifting of the portal beams will occur overnight in ‘engineering hours’ after the last District Line train has passed through the tunnels underneath the beams. Work is expected to conclude by the end of 2017 when the crane will be dismantled and leave Earls Court.

Capco’s exhibition and consultation space, The Earls Court Project Rooms (16-18 Empress Place, SW6 1TT – Nearest tube: West Brompton) are open the second Saturday of each month from 10am-4pm and give visitors the chance to learn more about the heavy lifting crane and the Earls Court development.


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Notes to editors:

About Capital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco):
Capital & Counties Properties PLC is one of the largest investment and development property companies that specialises in central London real estate and is a constituent of the FTSE-250 Index. Capco’s landmark London estates are valued at £3.7 billion1 (as at 31 December 2016): Covent Garden, which has assets valued at £2.3 billion including the historic Market Building; and Earls Court Properties including the Empress State Building together with the Venues business with aggregate property assets of £1.4 billion. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
1. Group share www.capitalandcounties.com

About Earls Court:
The Earls Court Masterplan was consented in 2013 and covers 77 acres of land in West London. The Masterplan will create 10.1 million square feet of space and was designed by Sir Terry Farrell who was inspired by the best of London to create ‘Four new Urban Villages and a 21st Century High Street’. The Masterplan will deliver 7,500 new homes, 10,000 new jobs, a new high street as well as new open green space, health facilities, new schools, community and cultural space and improvements to the transport and infrastructure of the local area. Part of the Earls Court Masterplan is being delivered by Earls Court Partnership
Limited (ECPL), an innovative joint venture with Transport for London. ECPL is owned 63% by Capco and 37% by TfL. www.myearlscourt.com

About ALE
ALE is a world-leading heavy lifting and transportation company, providing a highly tailored, end-to-end service covering every aspect of the handling, transportation and installation of heavy, indivisible loads. This includes lifting, transporting, installing, ballasting, jacking and weighing. ALE delivers strategic heavy-lift services to a wide range of sectors, including civil, oil and gas, energy, nuclear, offshore, renewables, petrochemical, ports, marine, minerals and metals and mining. ALE has more than 30 offices across Europe, the Far East, Africa,
America, South America, the Middle East and Australia. It is fully compliant with international standards of safety and excellence, including Quality standard ISO 9001:2008, Environmental standard ISO 14001:2004, and Health and Safety Standard OHSAS18001:2007. The AL.SK190 crane was launched in 2008 with a lifting capacity of 4,300t and a load moment of 354,000tm. The AL.SK cranes are also available in AL.SK350 and AL.SK700 configurations, achieving capacities up to 5,000t and 8,000t respectively. Furthermore, the cranes can be equipped with a 3,400t capacity heavy duty jib. The jib will be used on the next FPSO module integration project. Further information can be found on the ALE website
at www.ale-heavylift.com

About Keltbray
Keltbray Group is a UK leading specialist business, which offers engineering, construction, demolition, decommissioning, remediation, rail, environmental services and reinforced concrete frame solutions. The company dates back to 1976, employs more than 1,000 people, and is a key player in developing and maintaining Britain’s built environment. Keltbray provides services to meet the needs of diverse and complex projects, and its well qualified people take pride in delivering projects safely and efficiently, on time and to budget, and with care for the environment and our communities. Keltbray has contributed to a range
of high profile construction projects including The Shard, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium, St Pancras International, Crossrail, Earls Court and Battersea Power Station.