Danube power pack in Abwinden-Asten: VERBUND floating crane in use

27.01.2023Asten, St. Florian

VERBUND starts the annual inspections right on time at the beginning of the winter dry period. When damming a weir system at the Danube power plant Abwinden-Asten, Austria's most powerful vessel is put to use: the 8-tonne floating crane "DOKW 2".

For hydropower, winter means a short space of time in which inspection work can take place without generation losses. Turbines and weir fields are taken out of operation and thoroughly inspected in accordance with a maintenance plan. Actually being able to access the mighty facilities also needs powerful aids: gantry crane, heavy-duty barge and above all the floating crane DOKW 2. This vessel is unique on the Danube. The self-powered machine can lift loads of up to 80 tonnes with its slewing crane. 

Rock solid in the Danube

The pride of ship's captain Josef Jagsch is the new position-holding system, which gives the heavy-duty crane boat unheard of positional stability. The telescopic supports can be extended down to a depth of 11 metres. This allows the crane to stand safely in the Danube and lift the heaviest loads with minimal vibration. That is also necessary because the dam elements, which weigh up to 30 tonnes each, have to be precisely threaded into the guide slots and lowered. 
The strain this takes off the crane drivers and the ship's crew is tangible. While the position used to have to be laboriously held with the entire boat and its equipment such as cable winches, everyone can now work calmly and quietly. For the divers working on the assignment, this means calmer waters and thus a safer working environment. All of this saves time, nerves and reduces risky handling at the waterline – because nobody wants to end up in the Danube in winter, even if they're wearing a life-vest.

Maintenance at low water

Alongside the weir field, one of the six Kaplan bulb turbines will also be exposed for maintenance purposes, inspected and improved where necessary. The work will take a few more weeks. Abwinden-Asten will then be fully ready for use again in time for the thaw. In total, the Danube power plant Abwinden-Asten generates electricity for 280,000 households from hydropower every year.


Portrait Florian Seidl Florian Seidl

Spokesperson Region East

Send email

Floating crane DOKW 2 in use at Abwinden-Asten

Please accept marketing-cookies for this website displaying YouTube-videos.