The visit to the mine included a bus tour around the perimeter of the site, then our vehicle climbed the steep grade to an overlook on the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, an incoming weather front forced us off the mountain top shortly after, but we were happy to depart before the torrential rains hit.
Watching a World Cup Stadium Come to Life
After the mine site, we returned to Sao Paulo for a tour of Arena Corinthians, one of 12 stadium construction projects being undertaken for the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup. Nine of the 12 projects are being conducted with the help of Liebherr cranes.
The Arena Corinthians is situated on a total area of 200,000 sq. meters, and will replace the previous training center of the Corinithians soccer team. The project involves a total investment of more than $393 million (USD). Once completed, it will offer seating for 65,800 spectators.
Following a briefing from the project manager for Construtora Norberto Odebrecht, the contractor responsible for the project, we had a chance to check out the LR 11350, the largest Liebherr crawler crane operating in Latin America, as it was being set up for its next pick. The LR 11350 has a 1,350-tonne maximum load capacity and a maximum boom length of 748 ft. (228 m). We were then led into the bowl of the stadium to see Liebherr's HC series heavy-load tower cranes and a 450 C top-slewing crane at work.
Official kick-off of the stadium project was in May 2011. The stadium is scheduled to be ready for the opening match of the World Cup games on June 12, 2014.
Cranes and Cargo
Following a drive through the lush Brazilian mountains, we arrived for our final night's stay in beautiful Guaruja, a community located along the Atlantic Coast. After enjoying an evening of traditional samba and mambo music, along with more fine Brazilian cuisine, we headed to Porto de Santos (Santos Sea Port), where we would be able to view Liebherr mobile harbor cranes hard at work.
TECONDI (Terminal para Conteineres da Margem Direita S/A) conducts port operations, as well as handles and bonds storage of import/export cargo, using two LHM 500, one LHM 550 and four LHM 600 Liebherr mobile harbor cranes. With a lifting capacity up to 208 tonnes, the LHM 600 is Liebherr's strongest model. The LHM 500 cranes are equipped with electric drive for eco-friendly operation, while the LHM 550 is the first TECONDI crane equipped with the Pactronic hybrid drive system, which boosts performance and reduces emissions by 30%.
Capping off the information tour, we boarded a chartered boat to get an up-close look at the cargo ships as they were being loaded before enjoying a tour of the extensive harbor operations. We then set off for the airport with a better understanding of Liebherr's presence in Brazil and its potential impact on the future growth of this burgeoning market.