May 04, 2020

On May 2 a serious accident occurred on board of offshore installation vessel Orion 1 at the occasion of and during crane load tests. The vessel is under construction and owned by COSCO (QIDONG) OFFSHORE CO., LTD. The vessel is moored at the quayside at the Liebherr construction yard in Rostock, with the crane undergoing several load tests. Reportedly, a few persons suffered minor injuries.
The crane has suffered significant damage, while damage to the crane and the vessel will be investigated in the upcoming days and weeks.
The vessel was launched by the end of November 2018 at COSCO Qidong shipyard in China, then sailed to the German port of Rostock to have a 5,000 ton Liebherr crane installed. The boom of the Liebherr HLC 295000 crane was installed by the beginning of March.
The failure of a wire rope was first given as the cause of the crane boom collapse but it appeared that the four leg hook broke free of the neck/shaft. The sudden release of the heavy test load caused the boom to catapult back over the rear of the crane and crumple. The vessel remained tilted after the accident. However the root cause of the accident has yet to be confirmed by Liebherr experts and the investigators.
The Liebherr heavy lift crane series (HLC) was specially designed for the installation of offshore wind turbines and the installation and dismantling of offshore installations in the oil and gas industry. According to Liebherr the main feature of the HLC series is its compact design. The HLC 295000 with an overturning moment of 295,000 tm is installed on a base column with only 16.8 m diameter. The crane thus requires little space on deck and offers the user more storage space for the plant components to be transported and lifted. Despite this small footprint the HLC 295000 is very “stable” and can lift a payload of 5,000 t at an outreach of more than 30 m. The HLC 295000 can be used for a wide range of applications. This combination of compact design, high load capacity with large outreach and low dead weight makes the HLC series unique.
The vessel was expected for delivery to DEME NV in the second half of May 2020. Orion 1 was scheduled to start installing jacket foundations on the Moray East offshore wind farm located off the coast of Scotland once tests and certifications had been completed.
(Source: Liebherr/DEME – Image: en24news)