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World's largest land-based crane makes monumental impact with new electric capabilities — here's how it could revolutionize the construction industry

"Its low ground bearing capacity also means the crane can be used all over the world."

"Its low ground bearing capacity also means the crane can be used all over the world."

Photo Credit: Mammoet

The world's largest land-based electric crane is here to make construction even cleaner, and the technology could revolutionize offshore wind installations. 

As detailed by Interesting Engineering, the SK6,000 ring crane was delivered to Mammoet's engineering hub in the Netherlands in April 2023. 

On its website, the Dutch firm explains that the SK6,000 can increase the production efficiency for wind projects because the 470-plus-foot maximum radius enables the crane to set a "heavy floating foundation directly into the water."

The firm also says the technology is "future-proof" because the design of the SK6,000, which has a capacity of roughly 6,600 tons, can be adapted to the needs of its customers.

The design already builds upon concepts seen in the SK190 and SK350, and it can free up space at construction sites by 45%

"As it is containerized, the SK6,000 can be mobilized to any port, allowing projects to be executed where the right knowledge and skills are abundant, and where high-value assets can be best utilized," Mammoet wrote in a statement. 

The Netherlands intends to have a 100% sustainable energy grid by 2050, and part of its plan includes taking advantage of the ideal conditions for harvesting wind in the North Sea — which means wind turbines need to be built. 

However, most cranes are still powered by diesel, a dirty fuel that releases planet-warming pollution when burned and toxic fumes that can harm the health of construction workers. 

Meanwhile, the SK6,000 is fully powered by electricity, according to Mammoet. Some pollution would be generated if the crane charges from a dirty-energy-based grid, but it wouldn't release any heat-trapping gases during operation — similar to an electric passenger vehicle

While the SK6,000 is receiving much-deserved attention in the Netherlands, its design is expected to translate to clean-energy projects worldwide. 

"With the innovation of the SK6,000 crane, our customers can think bigger than ever before; pushing modules beyond the 4,000 [tonne — roughly 4,400 tons] and even 5,000 [tonne — roughly 5,500 tons] barriers. Its low ground bearing capacity also means the crane can be used all over the world," Mammoet Sales Director Giovanni Alders said in a statement for the company. 

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