EMPOWER :2014-15

Being a part of the ambitious Kochi metro rail project


Kochi is a cosmopolitan city in Kerala with a bustling commercial port and the financial capital of the state, with a population of more than 2 million. More than 600 years ago Kochi merchants began trading in spices with the Arabs, Dutch, Phoenicians, Portuguese and Chinese. This helped Kochi to prosper and become the gateway to old India. Since 2000, Kochi has revitalised its economy with a focus on tourism, information technology and the port. Today, it is one of the major tourist destinations in India.

The Kochi metro-rail is expected to be the fastest constructed metro rail project in the country. This INR 5182 crore project will consist of 22 stations from Aluva to Petta. The metro rail at Kochi will run on elevated viaduct tracks mounted on pre-stressed U/I concrete girders with pile/open foundations. The construction work of the 25 kilometre long elevated viaduct track for this project has been assigned to construction and infrastructure majors such as Larsen & Toubro, Soma and a joint venture of Era Infra and Chengdu Ranken. After a grand inauguration of its site in June 2013, Soma soon initiated the construction of the first metro station at Kaloor.

In order to ensure quick and timely completion of the project, Soma set up a casting yard near Eloor in Kalamaserry to manufacture pier caps, pier bases, U beams and I beams. Soma was looking for different types of cranes to cover its 300m long manufacturing bays and handle the various precast segments. A detailed analysis of the handling requirements in this huge casting yard by ElectroMech revealed that in order to meet the timelines, in all 5 cranes would be needed. Four of these are needed in the casting yard and one for dispatch. All of them were expected to handle heavy loads, to be precise in operations and cover long bays. In addition, two cranes in a bay would often have to work in tandem. In order to cut down the project cost, Soma wanted to explore the possibility of modifying and reusing existing cranes from other completed project sites.

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Team ElectroMech welcomed this tough challenge and designed a solution which is both technically feasible and economically viable. Two pairs of cranes were required to handle voluminous and heavy girders, bars and rods used for manufacturing of concrete structural products required for viaducts and metro tracks. These cranes are also used to handle and store machinery, moulds, concrete girders, foundations and all other finished products.

In the first bay, two gantry cranes of 50MT with 28m span and 12m height of lift work in tandem. These were originally 50MT, 20m span cranes used by Soma at another project. The modification was carried out by our subsidiary company Cranedge, whose expertise in crane modifications has been proven and appreciated by several clients. In another bay, two more 80MT cranes modified from Soma’s earlier Chennai metro project site work in tandem and handle a load of 160MT. These cranes efficiently and precisely handle and place huge inner moulds and steel bar skeletons inside outer moulds - an activity which demands high accuracy. The cranes also handle precast pier base caps in a similar process. The cranes were also modified by Cranedge from their original specification of 120MT with 22m span to 80MT with 32m span.

By way of ingeniously modifying the existing cranes, a substantial cost saving has been achieved at this project of Soma’s.

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Number of cranes:4

Cranes 1 & 2 Cranes 3 & 4
Span 32m 28m
Height Of Lift 10m 12m
Application Handling of moulds and finished products(U-beams, Pier caps, Pier bases) Handling of moulds and finished products(I beams)
Speciality Modification of existing Cranes from 120MT, 22m span to 80MT, 32m span Modification of existing Cranes from 50MT, 20m span to 50MT, 28m span