The crane is part of the final £40m demolition phase of the Earls Court Exhibition Centre

Earls Court crane

The largest crane in London is to begin work this month on Capco’s £1.1bn Earls Court scheme.

The 120m high heavy lifting crane has been designed and built by specialist engineering firm ALE and is to be used to lift 61 concrete beams, that laid beneath the former Earls Court Exhibition Centre, out of the ground above the district line. The largest beam weighs as much as 118 London buses.

The crane’s work - part of the final £40m demolition phase being overseen by Keltbray - is expected to conclude by the end of the year.

Capco is currently looking at increasing the number of homes on its 77-acre scheme from 7,500 to 10,000.

Mike Hood, group development director at Capco, said: “We are making good progress at Earls Court to prepare the site for future development. The heavy lifting crane is the most visible part of this work and will be part of the London skyline for the next year. We know there is huge interest in the crane and we are encouraging people to visit the Earls Court Project Rooms for our monthly open day to find out more.”

David Rowe, technical manager at Keltbray, added: “By utilising this crane and lifting method, disruption is minimised and the crane’s high capacity and precision lifting technology will reduce the overall project timescale considerably.

“With the successful demolition of the former exhibition centres last year the lifting of the large portal beams is the next big task at Earls Court as we prepare the site for construction. The project team has worked tirelessly to ensure the most appropriate technology was chosen and implemented in order to minimise disruption to our neighbours.”