The deconstruction and removal of a Thermofor Catalytic Cracking (TCC) tower in one of Australia’s largest working oil refineries was a cracker of an engineering challenge for the Men from Marr’s. The new system we developed could be a game changer for other refineries around the world where safety and productivity are critical to successful ongoing operations.

Sector OIL & GAS
Date JULY 2017-JANUARY 2018
1 x M2480D
Engineers 2
Crane operators 1
Installation crew 6
Maintenance crew 1


Heavy lifting over a live refinery is a delicate operation at the best of times but given the height of the TCC (at 100-metres), as well as the fact that the structure was located in a high-wind area with tight access, the project posed a number of challenges.

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Using one of our Marr 2480Ds to dismantle the tower elements in large manageable pieces, our client was able to safely dismantle the TCC using a new system that would become a game changer for other heavy industrial refineries where productivity and safety are critical to ongoing operations.


Without having to shut any part of the refinery operations down during the deconstruction works, our approach meant less lifting and a quicker deconstruction program, which effectively reduced overall risk on the project and to refinery operations.

In 2016 the Men from Marr’s were contacted to develop a craneage solution for the deconstruction of a decommissioned Thermofor Catalytic Cracking (TCC) tower at a major oil refinery. Built in the 1950sand decommissioned in 1997, the 100-metre high tower had been weakened by the ‘cracking’ process during its 40-year operational history.


After 18-months in the planning, we commenced onsite works with the installation of one of our Marr 2480D Heavy Lift Luffing (HLL) cranes. Without the option to install a crane pad, we designed a solution that allowed us to stand our crane on an above-ground static base using the Marr Crane Map System configured to meet the existing allowable ground-bearing pressures of the site.

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Key to our strategy was the use of one of our M2480D Heavy Lift Luffing (HLL) cranes to dismantle the tower elements in large manageable pieces. This helped to minimise the risks associated with working with limited space on the ground at heights in exposed, windy conditions that were prevalent in the area.

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The M2480D was erected at a low-level within a 10x10-metre footprint and then self-climbed to a height of 65-metres, above existing ground.

With the 55-metre boom installed in the crane, we had a 125-metre hook height, which gave us significant clearance over the 100-metre TCC. In this configuration the crane was rigged to have a capacity of more than 280 tonnes at the highest point of the TCC, allowing a 50 percent safety factor on the engineered weights we
were to lift.

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Without having to shut down any part of the refinery operations during the deconstruction works, our approach meant less lifting and a quicker deconstruction program.

“The craneage solution we developed with our client’s team enabled the works to be completed without incident, ahead of their original program time and at a considerable cost saving to the refinery, especially compared with other more traditional options,” said Simon Marr, Managing Director, Marr Contracting.

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