Milestone project win for Aertssen and ALE

Belgium-based Aertssen, leaders in infrastructure and crane services, and global heavylift and transportation company, ALE, have announced the award of their inaugural contract as a joint venture. The two market-leaders will work for Spanish EPC Técnicas Reunidas on the OPTARA project at the Total refinery in Antwerp, Belgium.

The project is part of Total’s €1 billion investment in its refining and petrochemical complex in Antwerp, Total’s second-largest and Europe’s third-largest refinery. The project will see the construction of a new unit and the conversion of an existing unit.

As the construction method is modular, several large modules weighing more than 1,000t will be transported from the manufacturing yard in Tarragona, Spain onto a barge to Belgium.

Once in Antwerp, the joint venture company will be responsible for the transportation over the Scheldelaan, the main road that runs through the port, and the installation in the refinery. In order to transport these 23m high modules, the company will make use of 80 axle lines of SPMTs. Several heavy columns will also be transported and installed using large telescopic and crawler cranes.

Yannick Sel, Sales Manager at ALE – projects, explained the benefits of working together on this project: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Aertssen as one of the market leaders in transportation and crane lifting. We can combine our strengths to offer the full solution for the client and the convenience of one point of contact.”

Saskia Aertssen, Branch Manager at Aertssen added: “The services provided by Aertssen and ALE, a world-class heavylift and engineering partner, are complementary and resulted in the most suitable and flexible solution that the client could wish for. We’re delighted with this cooperation and are looking forward to the first lift.”

The first modules were successfully transported to the refinery in October 2014.


Maarten Zijlmans

Passionate about Internet and cranes, Maarten Zijlmans founded He is the main editor with the goal of making CraneMag the #1 online cranes magazine.

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