1500-Ton Reactor Lift In Louisiana – Safe & Successful!

1500-Ton Reactor Lift In Louisiana – Safe & Successful!

Valero Energy Corporation recently installed a new, state of the art, hydrocracker at their Meraux, LA Refinery. The reactor lift was filmed by Valero and published on You-Tube as a testament to their commitment to safety and quality. The lift and transportation team safely completed the transport from the ship to the refinery and the 13-hour lift was made on October 3rd, 2013. The heavy haul and lift went flawlessly.

One point that was not mentioned in the video is that in days preceding the lift there was a big storm in the Gulf of Mexico. Thorough contingency plans were in place for securing the gantry and booming down the assist crane long before gantry erection commenced or the announcement of the storm. The team was ready to execute the plans if the storm turned toward the refinery. Thankfully, the storm turned away and the contingencies were not needed.


The project took countless hours of planning and two full months of work on site. The new reactor is 18 feet in diameter, 160 feet long and weighed 1510-US Tons

The Becht Engineering Heavy Lift Division was honored to provide a comprehensive engineering review of the transportation and lift plans. We started with foundation design and ground bearing pressure analysis. The lift plan was then reviewed for accuracy and compliance with Federal Regulations and Client safety standards. Due to the location inside the refinery, every lift for the gantry erection was defined as critical and each of those lifts were thoroughly reviewed. The 1500-ton single lift lug was analyzed and proof tested.

Becht also provided field oversight for the “over the road” heavy haul and the lift. The oversight included assuring the approved transport and lift plans were not deviated from. Our representative served as a direct line of communication to Becht’s engineering team for any issues that arose, expediting solutions in a timely manner. In addition, Becht’s field supervisor assured that all the critical lift permits were properly completed and pre-lift meetings were held.

 This project was a real pleasure due to the professional work and great attitude of all parties involved. Everyone worked together and the result was a huge success.

Follow this link to see the video:


 Click to Request Info


About The Author

Joseph (Joe) Collins is the Heavy Lift Division Manager for Becht Engineering Co., Inc. He is providing Consulting and Design Services for Lifting and Transport of process equipment, machinery, chemical, refining and nuclear vessels and components.His duties include consulting to clients using the world’s largest cranes and super heavy lift projects. Mr. Collins has over 45-years’ experience in the heavy lift industry. He served as Commissioner and later as Vice President for the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO). Joe also served as a member of the Cranes and Derrick Advisory Committee (C-DAC) to OSHA, which wrote and delivered the initial draft of the new OSHA Crane Safety Standard. In January 2011, Engineering News Record magazine honored Joe as one of the “Top 25 Newsmakers” for his work with C-DAC.

Authors Recent Posts

1500-Ton Reactor Lift In Louisiana – Safe & Successful!
Let Becht Turn Your Problem
Into Peace of Mind