Lampson building massive crane for Hitachi

KENNEWICK -- Kennewick's Lampson International is building the world's largest mobile land-based crane.

The proposed LTL-3000, which can lift 3,000 tons and travel with loads, is being built for Hitachi for a project in Japan.

The crane will be used for the construction of a new generation of an advanced boiling water reactor at Higashidori-I nuclear power plant for Tokyo Electric Co., said Randy Stemp, engineering projects manager at Lampson.

The contract with Hitachi, one of Lampson's longtime partners, was signed in December, Stemp said. Lampson has 22 months to complete the crane system, which is being designed to meet Japanese code requirements, he said. "They are three times as strict as the U.S. code."

The new crane would be an improved version of LTL-2600, delivered to Sanmen Nuclear Power Co. in China in 2009. The system will use a new hydraulic winch system with a 2-inch-diameter wire to help increase the lifting potential and the hoisting speed. Its main boom will be 400 feet high with a 120-foot jib.

Once the crane is manufactured, it'll be shipped as 150 semi-trailer truck loads, Stemp said. Lampson, one of three top international crane makers, is particularly known for the sound design and efficiency of its Transi-Lift cranes, he said.

The Transi-Lift concept, which combines the functionality of a conventional mobile crane and the capacity to lift very heavy loads, was designed by the company in the 1970s.

The company, which dates back to 1946, employs 400 workers worldwide, about 250 of them in the Tri-Cities.