Gunnebo Johnson and Franklin Offshore Land Asian Hercules III Project

Images: Asian Hercules II, in service since 1997

Recently Gunnebo Johnson Corporation landed the prestigious Asian Hercules III project, together with Franklin Offshore in Singapore. Over the next twenty five months from then the crane ship will be designed, tested, manufactured and delivered. Mark Monteiro, VP Special Projects, and his specially appointed team are now focusing on providing lifting tackles, blocks, equalizer beams, and sheaves for one of the largest crane ships in the world – for the offshore business.

“This is a one hundred percent special design by our engineering team, specifically for this valued customer,” Mark Monteiro, VP Special Projects at Gunnebo Johnson Corporation, states.

Mark has overall responsibility for the project at Gunnebo Johnson. He says he and his team are more than happy to be working with the Asian Hercules III project.

“This is the largest order in history for the entire corporation. We’re delighted to be a part of such a large and important piece of work”, says Joe Bridgeman, Vice President, International Sales and Marketing.

Innovative Lifting Beam Design

Gunnebo started working on the Asian Hercules III project back in 2008. But the enormous investment was held off due to the world economic crisis at the time. In February of 2011 the owner of Asian Hercules III, Asian Lift Pte., finally brought the project back to the table. Joe Bridgeman, Vice President, International Sales and Marketing, and Ken Sellers, Vice President of Engineering at Gunnebo Johnson, were the ones who concluded the deal in China.

“Asian Lift Pte. is a long-time and loyal customer. The key to our satisfied customers is the innovative lifting beam design that we’ve created. It’s lighter and stronger compared to traditional lifting beam systems”, Ken Sellers, VP of Engineering says.

A Big Sister

Mark Monteiro worked for Gunnebo Johnson for over twenty years and has a unique experience and knowledge. He was also involved in the Asian Hercules II project, initiated in 1996. Even though he was in retirement by 2010, Gunnebo Johnson asked him to come back in May 2011, to lead the Asian Hercules III program forward and to assure the Gunnebo Johnson tackle system was completed and delivered on schedule.

“The similarities between the two projects are very strong – apart from the fact that everything is much bigger this time around. Asian Hercules III is like a big sister, with greater reach and much higher lifting capacity. It’s a spectacular piece of lifting equipment.”

Assembled in China
Mark Monteiro’s role is to direct all activities and coordinate the products, regardless if they are manufactured in USA, Italy, Mexico or any other country. All will be shipped to the shipyard in Nantong, China, where the vessel and the crane itself will be built and assembled. The design of the project is modular; but due to the size of the assemblies, one of the major challenges will be to ship and handle the physical size of the enormous parts.

“Some of the parts will weigh over one hundred tons, simply because it’s impossible to make them any smaller. We need to pre-assemble them for fit, disassemble them into modules for handling, and get them to the vessel without damaging the parts or the paint.”

Gunnebo Johnson’s manufacturing team consists of about 180 employees in total and will produce most of the parts for Asian Hercules III. By the end of Q1 in 2013 the company will supply over 1000 tons of steel plates, castings, and forging products made into a sophisticated lifting system.

For more information, visit the Gunnebo Industries website:

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