Meet Big Carl, the world's largest crane

Hinkley Point C power station has a new resident in the form of the world's largest crane, Big Carl.

The crane stands at 250m tallest, putting Canary Wharf's highest building, One Canada Square, in its shadow.

Big Carl - named after Carl Serens, the father of the company that built the crane - can carry up to 5000 tonnes at a time.

Its technical name is the SGC-250, which is slightly less interesting, and it runs on 6km of track and boasts 96 wheels, allowing it to lift 32 single-storey houses or 1,600 cars.

Big Carl by name, a massive crane by nature. Credit: PA

Rob Jordan, Hinkley Point C Construction Director said: “The crane is an impressive piece of kit and a world beater. It allows us to innovate in the way we build the power station, lifting complete pieces out of our factory bunkers and into place across the site."

The crane will call Somerset home for the next four years where it will be utilised in the building of the power station. Big Carl's main purpose will be to lift large prefabricated sections of the power station into place.

"Pre-fabrication helps us boost quality, gives better conditions for skilled workers and saves time – that’s good news for the project and an example of learning lessons from success at other projects.”

Here are some additional facts about Big Carl:

  • “Big Carl” is the biggest land-based crane in the world

  • Capable of lifting 5,000 tonnes at a radius of 40m

  • 250m tall in its tallest configuration

  • Supported by 52 counterweight containers - weighing 100 tonnes each

  • Powered by 12 engines

  • Runs on 96 individual wheels as it travels between 3 different lift locations

  • Will lift over 700 pieces of prefabrication including the heaviest components for the reactor buildings