Johnson Arabia takes challenges in stride to lift 22t steel columns in Al Ain mosque improvement project
2 Mar 2023
Company used a 350t Terex-Demag CC2200 crawler crane and 100t Liebherr mobile crane to erect the 12m high structures used to install shade canopies over outdoor prayer areas at Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Mosque
Johnson Arabia recently met a difficult lifting challenge successfully when it lifted and erected multiple steel columns, each 12m high and weighing 22t, at the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Mosque in Al Ain as part of an improvement project to instal sensor activated shade canopies for the outdoor prayer areas.
Construction of the 168,000 square foot mosque with a dome adorned with verses from the Holy Quran had earlier been awarded to Arabian Construction Company for a whopping Dh600 million with an initial start date of December 2013 and projected completion in 2016. However, the project was subsequently delayed because of a review of major projects in Abu Dhabi, which slowed the pace of development in the emirate.
After the project was completed in 2019, Johnson Arabia recently won the contract for lifting services in the improvements works on the mosque, which was initiated in 2022. The improvements included the provision of shading for the mosque’s massive outdoor areas, which required the multiple 22t, 12m high steel columns to be erected.
As the expert lifting partner for the project, Johnson Arabia deployed a 350t Terex-Demag CC2200 crawler crane and a 100t Liebherr mobile crane, basing the choice of equipment on the size of the columns and the lifting plan that the expert team of the UAE-based crane and lifting services company came up with.
According to a statement from Johnson Arabia, the cranes allowed its team to perform an almost tandem lift where each column was lifted off flatbed trucks and then the Demag CC2000 was used to position the column upright while the Liebherr was used to keep the bottom of the column off the ground for accurate positioning.
“The biggest challenge for our team was the visibility of the ends of the column - so the rigging team made sure to communicate with each other for every step of the lift and consult with the installation team for accuracy of placement,” said a Johnson Arabia spokesperson.
“Another challenge was converting the parking space near the mosque to a high load bearing area. This was achieved by strategic placement of crane mats after ground pressure calculations to ensure full safety of the equipment and lifts.”
Finally, the team had to obtain special permits for the job due to its high profile nature and ensure that no work was done or lifts were performed during prayer times, Johnson Arabia added.
“As prayers are performed five times a day, the engineers had to carefully plan lifts that could be performed in specific time windows. They also had to ensure full safety of the columns if any of the columns were in mid lift,” concluded the statement from Johnson Arabia.