Alimak lifts improve access on the plant’s boiler houses

Sodequara LNG power station, Japan

Reports are being received from around the world about Alimak Hek’s success in the introduction of their range of lifts to the power industry.

For many years Alimak Hek has been successful in supplying lifts for power station chimney access, but, with the exception of a few installations, it is only recently that rack & pinion technology has been used in the boiler house environment. One success story comes from Gadelius Trading K.K., Alimak Hek’s distributor in Japan. Since 1993 the company has installed over 30 Alimak lifts in Japanese power plants, and has generated a lot of interest, which will substantially increase the number of installations in the coming months.

TEPCO is one of the world’s leading power companies, and their decision to install Alimak lifts is very much in line with the other Japanese power companies. A typical Japanese power station has between three to six boilers, with output ranging between 600 MW to 1000 MW. Each boiler requires regular maintenance, with a major refurbishment every two years.

The traditional method of handling maintenance equipment and tools is by crane or rope-driven cradles; typical personnel access is achieved by stairs. TEPCO was not satisfied with these inefficient, outdated access systems, and in conjunction with Gadelius used the Alimak rack & pinion technology to provide a more efficient user-friendly access system.

According to TEPCO, there are three major benefits of using the Alimak lift:

  1. The safe movement of maintenance equipment with access to all landing levels
  2. A far more efficient means of transporting maintenance engineers when the boiler is in operation, and an even greater benefit during the refurbishment period when the work force reaches a peak of 200 people
  3. Because the Alimak lift does not require a machine room or load bearing shaft, as with traditional traction lifts, the initial capital outlay was quite competitive with other access systems

The photographs of TEPCO’S Sodequara LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) Power Station illustrate a typical Alimak lift installation. This specific power station has 1 x 600 MW and 3 x 1000 MW boilers, and each boiler is served with an Alimak 10/19 lift, providing access to eight landing levels. The Alimak 10/19 lift fully complies with the Japanese Lift Regulations, providing a lifting capacity of 910 kg or 14 people.

To quote TEPCO’s Maintenance Manager, "The Alimak lifts have substantially improved our access efficiency, and the lifts are performing extremely well within the environment."

Lift details

Sodequara LNG Power Station, Sodequara, Japan
Installation year
Boiler house
Lift type
ALIMAK 10/19
910 kg (14 people)
Lift car size
1.56 m x 2.60 m x 2.17 m (W x L x H)
25 m/min
Lifting height
Up to 50 m
No. of landings
Up to 8
Sodequara LNG power station

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