Ainscough Crane Hire’s Newcastle Depot has delivered a three day contract lift at Newcastle University’s Tyne Subsea: National Centre for Subsea and Offshore Engineering, installing a hyperbaric chamber which is used to simulate the pressures of the subsea environment at depths of up to 4,500m.
The lift was part of a six month contract with construction firm Robertson, installing the largest commercially available hyperbaric chamber in the world which provides vital testing, research and development facilities in the North East and for the wider UK subsea community.
Part funded by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s North East Investment Fund, the Neptune Test Centre is the first of its kind in the UK and is the first commercial facility of its kind in the world, with only two other similar test facilities are owned by the US and Russian governments.
Using a Liebherr LTM 1250-6.1, the Ainscough team provided a supporting tail lift for the 4.5 metre long, 2.5 metre diameter chamber as it was positioned within the new building.
To position the chamber, a section of roof was removed and the chamber lowered onto its moorings within the building. This meant the crane operator was working ‘blind’ relying on the Ainscough crew inside the building for guidance.
Lee Driver, area sales manager for the North East said: “This was an intricate series of lifts which showed Ainscough’s team working at its very best. The leeway we had through the roof was tight and then the tolerances of chamber’s positioning onto its mooring was down to literally millimetres of clearance.
“It was a special effort by the team from planning through to delivery and we once again delivered for our customer.”
The major investment between BEL Valves (one of British Engines’ engineering businesses) and Newcastle University involves the creation of new teaching facilities, dedicated research and development offices, associated car parking, infrastructure, access road, sewer system, enabling works and landscaping.