Powerhouse: Crawler Crane in the Tauernmoos Hydro Power Plant


Compact and agile, strong and stable - the PALFINGER PCC 57.002 crawler crane lifts even the heaviest construction components on site with ease and precision. The environment and the construction workers inside the cavern benefit from the emission-free and silent operation of the compact crane.


The heart of the new Tauernmoos pumped storage power plant owned by ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG is located in Upper Pinzgau, deep inside the mountains near Uttendorf in Salzburg/Austria. The cavern extends over a length of 73 meters, a width of 25 meters and a height of 40 meters - that’s equivalent to a twelve-floor building. Bit by bit, stage by stage, the infrastructure of the future underground hydro power plant is being built here.

Maximum lifting capacity in compact form

15,000 m³ of structural concrete and 2,000 tons of reinforcing steel, along with formwork panels and machines must be lifted and installed within the cavern in a very confined space and on a tight schedule. There is not much space for parking machines, and moving them is often associated with a lot of effort. Regular cranes cannot possibly handle the project's special lifting operations. With a size of 5.8 by 1.9 meters, a lifting capacity of 450 kilograms and a working radius of almost 30 meters - or 3,700 kilograms at a height of 18 meters and a radius of 8 meters - the extremely compact PCC 57.002 is the perfect crane solution for this complex project. Due to its unique shifting function and 360° geometry monitoring, it can also increase lifting force and reach. The software calculates all centers of gravity of the machine simultaneously to achieve optimum stability. The additional equipment with an articulated knuckle boom (14°) and fly jib (25°) is essential for successful work operations. It means the PCC can be even closer to the scene of action without taking up space there, and can cleverly avoid objects and protruding edges.


Across the cavern with ease, but without emissions

As a special challenge, the crawler crane must complete his tasks on the various levels, the “floors”. These tasks are special in terms of maneuvering in confined spaces, which is easier than ever with the PCC 57.002: Within a very short time, the crane unit can separate from the crawler module and be transported to the next level in two compact parts. Deep inside the mountain, the crane also features impressive sensitivity and minimal reaction movements. While it can be operated either by diesel or electric drive, inside the cavern for the pumped storage power plant it is electric powered for completely CO2 neutral operation. With no exhaust fumes, reduced noise and vibrations and zero CO2 pollution to the surrounding area, the all-rounder in the cavern ensures the best working conditions for construction workers.

Construction group Swietelsky AG is carrying out the work on the ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG power plant project. Civil engineer Arnold Künnert, project manager at Swietelsky AG’s civil engineering team, is responsible on site for the construction of the concrete power plant cavern: “In addition to the technical advantages, PALFINGER’s strong service network and customer-oriented support were decisive for us. Our crane operators received four days of training right before the start of the project, where they got to know all the functions of the crane model and practiced health and safety procedures. This enabled them to work efficiently right from the start of the project. The PALFINGER service center in Zell am See also guarantees rapid availability of spare parts.”

Crane operator Wilfried Pirker is also impressed by the performance of the PCC: “Thanks to the PCC’s shifting function in combination with its long reach, we can transport even the heaviest loads to distant locations in the cavern. This makes our work a lot easier.”