Thunder Cranes successfully completed the challenging first phase of a crane replacement project in offshore Angola. The goal of the first phase of the project was the safe removal of a platform crane boom. Our scope included comprehensive site surveys for detailed planning, followed by rigging and lifting operations with portable-modular cranes.


Case Summary

The PALP2 crane boom at Sonangol’s PALP2 offshore platform  in Angola needed to be removed due to technical failure. Following the failure, the crane boom had been temporarily immobilized and was secured in a suspended position in a difficult-to-reach area of the platform.  From there it would then need to be removed, lifted to a supply vessel and shipped back to shore.

Our client New Partner Energy (NPE) brought in Thunder Cranes (TC) lifting experts to execute the project, which involved the use of TC’s portable-modular cranes as a safer and more cost-effective alternative to a crane barge (which – due to sea conditions – could not execute the job safely).

Our TC20 stiff leg crane was used for the project due to its capacity, hook height, and portability.  The TC20 was supported by a TC05 assist crane.

The project involved rigging, skidding, deck reinforcements, and a rope access team for rigging maneuvers.  TC worked with NPE to provide expertise, engineering support, and step-by-step procedures for the job.


  • The site survey and engineering calculations revealed the need for deck reinforcements to the PALP2 deck. This was done in order to support the installation of the TC20 modular crane.
  • While NPE prepared the deck reinforcements, the TC team brought the modular cranes into position from adjoining platform PALP1 (where there was a functioning platform crane) to PALP2, moving our equipment approximately 200 metres between adjoining platforms, which were connected by a bridge.
  • The move demonstrated a key advantage of our offshore portable-modular cranes: our ability to transfer the modular components manually across platform walkways and deck areas.
  • Rigging up the TC20 crane in a limited deck area was one of the main challenges faced on the PALP2 platform. Getting the boom into position was further complicated by utility lines that could not be removed. The entire boom had to be suspended above the utility lines while it was pinned together.
  • Following the TC20 load test, TC and NPE successfully and safely executed the boom take-down.
  • Using a combination of TC20 crane and customised rigging work supervised by NPE, the PALP2 crane boom was removed and lowered into position on the lower decks of the platform. From there TC20 completed the lowering of the crane boom onto a supply vessel.


This project located at Sonangol’s PALP2 platform in Block 3, was many months in the planning and complex in the execution due challenging circumstances. The crane boom take-down was safely and successfully completed thanks to our equipment, our ability to work closely with clients and partners on detailed planning, as well as our execution of creative, complex rigging and skidding procedures.

Our clients experience can be summarized by the following feedback given to us by Sonangol’s lead engineer for the project, who wrote:

“Very good planning and execution. Safety first in every part of the project from beginning to end. The service met all objectives and surpassed our expectations”.

– Marinela Chipepe, Mechanical Engineer

  • Lifting Solution for Crane Replacement Offshore
  • PALP2 crane in difficult to reach location
  • Space constraints
Our Service
  • Offshore Rental Crane TC20 & TC05
  • Complex Rigging & Skidding
  • Crane Operators
  • Detailed Planning & Preparation
  • Cost effective, safe, precision lifting solutions
  • Angola