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We sat down with David Withers – Sales & Special Projects Manager – for an interview to discuss; how modular cranes have become important for many offshore projects; what their key features and benefits are; and why Thunder Cranes is a leading provider of modular rental cranes in the market today.

What are modular cranes?

Modular offshore cranes are cranes that are transportable offshore in modular component pieces and can be rapidly assembled for temporary offshore lifting projects. Depending on the crane type, they can be assembled within 8 to 15 working hours on offshore installations. They are deployed to provide the lifting capability the project requires, and then they can be rigged down and returned to shore. We call them “portable, modular cranes” or “modular cranes” for short. In the new API guidelines, they are now referred to as “temporary installation cranes”.

When are modular cranes required?

Some offshore installations, especially the older ones, may not be equipped with the right lifting capacity for the project. The existing fixed platform cranes may lack sufficient lifting capacity, may not be functioning, may be de-rated, or may lack sufficient reach over the intended working area. With modular rental cranes we can provide temporary lifting solution where and when required.

What are the common uses for modular cranes?

Modular cranes are often required to provide the lifting capabilities needed for supporting well intervention services, facilities engineering, plug and abandonment, and decommissioning. Over the past 30 years the use of modular cranes has increased due to the development of “rigless” methods in well services and P&A. Lighter “rigless” methods are generally employed where possible in order to reduce costs, since rig day rates can be very high. However, rigless methods sometimes require lifting capabilities that the average fixed platform is unable to provide. This additional capability can be supplied either by lift vessels or modular rental cranes or a combination of both. Even when a client has a lift vessel available, they may determine that a modular crane package is required in order to execute safer, more precise lifts. Modular cranes are fixed on the platform deck and not affected by dynamic sea conditions which can create limitations when lifting from vessel cranes.

What are some of the features and benefits of modular cranes?

Thunder Cranes’ modular cranes have a number of features and benefits, of which we can go into more details about later, but which can be summarized as follows:

1) Designed for self-lifting capability, quick and efficient installation with minimum or no modifications to the platform required.

2) Designed & maintained for maximum reliability and safety in the offshore environment.

3) Powered independently from the offshore platform utilities via zone rated diesel hydraulic power pack.

4) Designed to be versatile and adaptable – from tie down options, boom reach options, re-positioning, and maximizing available deck space.

Can you give a project example of how these features have created valuable benefits for a client?

In each of our assignments the benefits of our crane technology, and our commitment to customer service, creates value for our clients. The best way to learn more about how this is applied in the field would be to read some of our project case studies which you can find on our website at

What makes Thunder Cranes a leading provider of modular rental cranes in the market today?

Thunder Cranes has wide range of options designed to suit a wide range of offshore installations and the wide range of lifting requirements of the project. In addition, unique innovations in our crane technology (self-lifting packages and tie down options), as well as our experienced, highly-trained personnel, gives Thunder Cranes an important advantage.

When combined with an excellent safety record, the fastest rig up and rig down times and cost-efficient deployment to projects; this translates into valuable cost savings for our clients.

That we provide valuable results for clients is evidenced from our long term relationships with high quality clients, and our growth from a small firm with just 2 cranes in 1994, into Asia-Pacific’s largest supplier of modular, offshore rental cranes.

Would you like to learn more? Contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn more about Thunder Cranes’ offshore temporary rental crane services, lifting solutions, or lift planning services.