A section of the crane being demolished and removed

Hammerhead Crane Deconstruction

Woolloomooloo, NSW
Department of Defence
9 months
Completed 2014


The Department of Defence commissioned Liberty Industrial to dismantle its heritage significant 61m tall cantilevered dockside crane – the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest dockside crane in Australia. Components of the crane had to be salvaged for reuse, including the crane’s main hook assembly, hook platform and trollies, the driver’s cabin, slew ring and other machine house plant items.


  • Constraints working around a 24/7 operational naval base and a confined 4,000m² work area, severely restricted the availability of space to land loads and process materials.
  • Due to the value of the identified components for salvage, it was imperative that items were not damaged or structurally altered in the removal or transportation process.

Robust Solutions/Exceptional Outcomes

Robust solutions

  • Development of a unique engineered dismantling methodology that reduced the number of lifts from 250 to just 70, significantly minimising safety risks and reducing project cost and timeframe.
  • Development and implementation of a stringent environmental program to monitor and manage the risk of lead and chromate contamination, to prevent harm to the harbour’s delicate marine surrounds and protect the health of workers, naval personnel and the local community.
  • Provision of state-of-the art crane and demolition equipment.
  • Construction of a steel support structure off the wharf to allow for safe deconstruction.
  • Spray painting and paint stripping crane prior to cutting to avoid contamination while cutting.
  • Construction of a specialised frame for the cranes enormous 25.7t hook assembly for transportation of decontaminated processed components to an offsite recycling facility.
  • Coordination with police escort for transportation of recovered components to storage location.
  • Construction of concrete plinths outside the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre for reinstatement of key heritage items.


Exceptional outcomes

  • The project was completed on budget, on schedule and without issue or injury.
  • 2,027t or 99.56% of materials were recovered, including salvage of 132t of heritage items, recycling of 1,855t of steel and 40t of concrete.
  • 9t of material was unrecoverable, as was 6t of lead paint waste and 3t of general waste.

Value Add


Demolition Simulation and Modelling

With exclusive license to demonstrate using Extreme Loading® for Structures (ELS) software developed by Applied Sciences International (ASI).



Use of best approach demolition and dismantling such as explosive using world class fleet, safety and engineering methodologies in explosives and rigging.


Decontamination and Industrial Cleaning

Designing engineered solutions for decontamination such as removal of asbestos, heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins, PFAS and NORMs.


Asset and Resource Recovery

Comprehensive waste and recycling management to contribute to the circular economy to extend the lifecycle of materials.



  • 2015 World Demolition Awards, Contract of the Year Over US$1M - Finalist

Managing PFAS in site closure remediation


Bioremediation for Closure


Demolition and recycling phase completed for first major closure project for Rio Tinto at Argyle Diamond Mine, WA.

integrated capability responsible decommissioning

decommissioning closure and asset liability consulting

consulting risk management engineered solutions 3d simulation

and simulation liberty modelling dismantling and asset

dismantling and asset recovery synchronised safety

deconstruction resource recovery and recycling expert delivery

high expert industrial delivery reach consulting

expert delivery high reach explosive induced collapse

collapse specialised contracting decontamination

decontamination cleaning remediation environmental stewards

stewards risk mitigation and management waste disposal

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