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Out of Africa

South Africa

Out of Africa

Sasolburg, approximately 90kms south of Johannesburg, saw Techlift venture into South Africa for the first time. The AAA project was part of Sasol Chemical Industries expansion of its chemical production facilities.

The new acrylic acid acrylates (AAA) project is part of the company’s solvents division that concentrates on the oxygenated solvents market, involving environmentally-acceptable ketones, acetates and acrylates.

  • Project

    Acrylic Acid / Acrylates (AAA) Sasol, South Africa

  • Client

    Foster Wheeler Energy

  • Scope

    Heavy Lift & Transport Management

  • Schedule


As part of the overall project it was required to install 2 large Oxidization Reactors weighing over 300 tonnes. The reactors which were over 7.5 metres in diameter were manufactured in Germany so had to be shipped to the nearest port, transported over 600 kilometres inland and lifted into position. With very limited local equipment and resources available within South Africa and a transport route with challenges at every turn it was always going to bring out the best in everyone involved.

Search out the most suitable heavy lift contractor with the available equipment and local knowledge and integrate them into the project team. Mammoet were engaged to supply their Liebherr LR1400 crawler crane (the largest crane in the region) along with their heavy transport combinations.

As the reactor needed to be rotated into the vertical position on site, and there was only one large crane available, a special lifting frame was designed and fitted to the reactors. The Liebherr LR1400 needed some specialist help also, Mammoet applied to the crane manufacturer for a special duty chart to undertake the lifts, as the standard cranes charts where not sufficient. With teamwork and some innovative thinking, the project was completed successfully incident free and as per schedule.

Techlift were engaged as independent heavy lift consultants by Foster Wheeler Energy to assist in managing the complete heavy lift and transport operation from port to final install. Our project included:
• Review and final approval of all lifting studies & transport plans
• Onsite inspection & verification of crane assembly, rigging arrangements & transport configurations
• Oversee all lifting & transport operations
• Focal point for coordination with HL contractor, client & base plant operations
• Complete all test inspection records & project reports, including lesson learnt

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