Italian-owned Faglioli PSC specialises in alternative heavy lifting and caters to a variety of industries Fagioli PSC has set up its equip-ment base in India after establishing a strong foothold in India within a short span of time. An Italian-owned company, Fagioli PSC specialises in alternative heavy lifting and caters its services mainly to the civil, offshore, power and petrochemical industries. Speaking at the time of announcement, Les J Brown, managing director, Fagioli PSC Limited, UK, said, "The demand for alternative lifting is growing in India and currently the market size is pegged at around Rs 40 crores. In order to cater to this increasing demand, the Fagioli Group has decided to set up its equipment base in export promotion zone in India". Les added that Fagioli PSC has stationed its equipment in India to serve the market locally and more directly. According to Rajiv Sethi, managing director, Fagioli PSC India Private Ltd, "We have done some very important projects in power, refinery, construction and industries as diverse as the aviation industry. Adds Sethi, "India is heavy crane deficit; there are no more than 450-tonne cranes. India requires a lot of lifting devices with big projects coming up from 100-200 tonnes to 31,000 tonnes of alternative lifting." The demand for alternative lifting goes hand-in-hand with demand for conventional crane lifting. While cranes are claimed to currently do 80 per cent of the jobs, the balance 20 per cent is done through alternative lifting. "Fagioli PSC", says Sethi, "are pioneers and leaders in alternative lifting with Strand jacks and tower-lift systems". Archaic cranes, derricks and winches combined with pack and jack methods are the order of the day in many industrial construction sites in India at the moment. With the need for specialised yet unique solutions, many industrial houses in India as well as the world over are shifting from conventional methods of lifting to alternative lifting as they present faster and safer lifting practices, for cost economics, for ease or operation and the ability to set-up and transport easily. Attracting attention towards some of Fagioli PSC India's important projects like the lifting of the roof of an Air India hangar at Mumbai, Sethi presents an example of the erection of some of the large vessels of Indian Oil Refinery in West Bengal. "Established in 1946 and having a turnover of 400-million Euro a year", says Les, "Fagioli PSC's core competence also includes specialised transportation". Fagioli PSC India recently executed a turnkey project for Reliance Industries. The company completed the lift of a 1,480-tonne C3 vessel at Reliance' Jamnagar oil refinery in Gujarat as part of an ongoing expansion work at the world's largest grassroot refinery. Made of steel, the 97 m long, 8 m dia. splitter vessel was fabricated in South Korea and shipped to Gujarat to be a part of the plan to more than double the refinery's capacity to 60-million tones per year to meet India's fast growing petroleum product requirements. "Reliance was looking at options", says Sethi, "so that they could complete the transport and erection of such a long and heavy vessel without affecting or closing down adjacent facilities in the refinery. They chose Fagioli PSC on the merit of having a proven safety record and having worked in similar conditions in other refineries around the world". Fagioli PSC India transported the vessel from the ship to the erection site on self-propelled modular transporters, which are alternatively called as "singing and dancing axles". Once the vessel was safely transported to the site, the 97 m long splitter vessel was lifted from its horizontal transport position to its erect, vertical position using F-PSC twin, 2000-tonne capacity, 100 m tall towers attached with four 750-tonne strand jacks. According to Rajiv, "These jacks were used for the first time and are part of Fagioli's new 120 m high, un-guyed, 3000-tonne self-erect system that is presently under testing." Lifting of the vessel was accomplished using trunnions set 4 m above the centre of gravity and "tailing" was carried out using Reliance's own 11320 super sky horse heavy lift crane. Lifting took seven hours to complete at a lifting speed of 12 m per hour including geometry checks. Once the lift was completed, the suspended vessel was then held in position for a period of four hours while bolt insertion took place and verticality check were made before the vessel was landed and the system de-tensioned. Explaining the details of the operation, Rajiv says, "The decision to use strand jacks for the splitter vessel lift was taken due to various advantages compared to using a large crane. With a prevalent wind speed of 16 m per second at the project site compared with a maximum wind speed of 9 m per second or less for cranes, using strand jacks allowed the lifting of the vessel to proceed without any delay". Rajiv adds, "The market in India is emerging to take such technology on board. We are looking at lifting 28 such vessels in the next 2 years and with new refineries planned at Kakinada, Bhatinda, etc, Fagioli is looking at catering to these refineries and therefore stationing its equipment in India". Having moved up to 36,000-tonnes worth of equipment using alternative lifting and specialised transportation solutions, Fagioli PSC is investing US $ 300,000 in India. Another half a million dollars is coming and will be doubled in the next 2 to 3 years, say company sources.