Issue 13 | 2014
BUILDING AN ARCH SHELL A game changer for the gas industry 200 TRIPS through the desert
USD 7.95 / EUR 5.95 / CAD 8.99 / GBP 4.75 AUD 8.50 / AED 29.10 / HKD 59.60 / SGD 9.95
Mammoet World Issue 13, 2014 Mammoet World is a bi-annual publication Comments and contributions can be sent to: Mammoet Holding B.V. Marketing & Communication Dpt. P.O. Box 10000 3505 AA Utrecht The Netherlands E-mail: email@example.com ÂŠ 2014 Mammoet Concept Mammoet Tribal DDB, Amstelveen Puntspatie [bno], Amsterdam
76 A walk on the high side
30 Salvaging the past to save the future
26 Getting up and running in half the time
Strategic and creative consultancy Tribal DDB, Amstelveen Graphic design Puntspatie [bno], Amsterdam Print Badoux BV, Houten Editing and production team Theo Kroese, Marjolein van Herel, Jie-Heda Chin
36 From brain wave to heavy lift terminal in one year
Editorial board Maurits Croon, Michel Bunnik, Hanneke de Graaf Text David Scherpenhuizen (EZWriters), Marjolein van Herel, Theo Kroese, Ciaran Oâ€™ Faolain, Michael Nord, Brenda de Jong Photography Brewster Travel, Canadian Coast Guard, Danny Cornelissen, Chris Hoefsmit, Jorrit Lousberg, Daniel F. Porter Illustrations Maarten Bakker, Kevin Kooi, Death Valley (Pascal Tieman, Bas Kocken), Martijn Vermeer ISSN 2352-6874
14 Factory on the move
4 Powering an installation schedule by going the distance
52 Essar turnaround
48 50 millimeters to lift a Boeing
Building an arch
8 A game changer for the gas industry
42 200 trips through the desert
66 Getting to the mine on time
MOREâ€Ś 2 56 60 70 74
Time and smart solutions Michel Bos: Mr Fixit The world at a glance. An insight in global market developments Movinâ€™ on up. Twenty-eight jack-ups, and counting Making it happen
TIME AND SMART SOLUTIONS What do navigation systems and heavy industries have in common? Navigation systems and satellites are smart solutions that help us reach our destination. In order to guide you through traffic safely and on time, these systems need to overcome a seemingly tiny challenge with significant consequences. Time, gravity and speed are closely related1, which means that clocks in satellites run just a little faster than clocks on Earth. This is due to a combination of weaker gravitational forces – caused by the satellites’ distances to Earth – and their speed. Therefore, satellite clocks must be corrected – otherwise the GPS navigation system in your car would read a false time, calculate the distance wrong and you wouldn’t know where you were. Heavy industries also deal with the forces of gravity, speed and time: in order to increase productivity and drive down unit costs, plants and facilities are built at everlarger scales. This leads to the
Issue 13 | 2014
1 As stated in Relativity Theory. Being 19,000 kilometers above the Earth, satellites experience weaker gravity, which causes their clocks to run faster. On the other hand, the speed of the satellites causes their clocks to slow down, but on balance they tick slightly faster than clocks on Earth, 38,700 nanoseconds per day, to be exact. Source: www.physics.org – A question of timing.
fabrication of bigger components and modules that need to be lifted, transported and installed. But gravity is only part of the challenge: remote locations, lack of infrastructure, harsh climates and a strong emphasis on preserving the environment complicate projects and impact their timing significantly. All these factors require smart solutions for lifting, transport and installation: comprehensive and innovative approaches that enable efficient and cost-effective construction and maintenance, while maintaining maximum safety levels.
business is not about size and weight. It’s about time: uptime, turnaround time and time to market. Professional staff and reliable equipment make for the basics: meeting deadlines and avoiding delays through safe delivery. Through innovative engineering and careful planning, Mammoet brings speed into the equation – helping clients improve construction efficiency and optimize the uptime of their plants and installations. And by deploying our expertise in the design stage, we can even help our clients to optimize their project as a whole.
Since 1807, Mammoet helps its clients move big and heavy objects that are subject to the gravitational forces of the Earth. In more than two centuries, we have gained vast and in-depth expertise in lifting, transportation, installation and decommissioning of virtually any type of big structure in every heavy industry. We have built a fleet of equipment, unparalleled in size, capability and capacity. And yet, we believe that our
Mammoet is obsessed with smart solutions. And we are not alone in that obsession: the persistent search for smart solutions inspires many of us and is a source of progress and innovation in heavy industries across the world. Some solutions are simple and unexpected; others are the result of years of diligent research and development. There are numerous stories to tell; Mammoet World captured a selection in this edition.
For example, Shell’s Projects & Technology Director, Matthias Bichsel, introduces us to the world of the Prelude – the world’s first Floating Liquefied Natural Gas facility – on page 8. It is a game changer for the gas industry, as it integrates the production, processing, liquefaction, storage and offloading of gas and gas-derived liquids – all in remote areas, hundreds of kilometers from the nearest shoreline. On page 14 we share the insights of Mike Autrey, Group Vice President at Jacobs Engineering who was responsible for the ‘reversed modular construction’ of a methanol plant that had to be relocated from Chile to the United States. In this case relocation as opposed to building a new plant saved the company at least six months. However, it required a comprehensive and integrated approach to deal with many challenges, transporting over 400 heavy components and modules along an 8,000 kilometer route.
Eventually, all steel cables will suffer from ‘steel fatigue’. When confronted with this fact, Rinze van der Schuit concluded that better cables should be made of something other than steel. Although he wasn’t a cable expert at that time, this idea stuck in his head until it obsessed him so much that he decided to bring it to life. On page 48 you find the story of FibreMax, Van der Schuits company that now produces cables made of synthetic fibers. They are stronger and lighter than any other cable – giving rise to innovative applications across many industries. Apart from these stories and insights we are happy to share some of the many projects we have worked on. We feel privileged that the continued confidence of our customers in Mammoet leads to inspiring partnerships and projects, such as the construction and installation of the New Safe Confinement for the Chernobyl Nuclear Power
plant (page 18). For this project, Mammoet designed a revolutionary approach covering a range of innovative and specialized solutions for both the jacking and skidding of the confinement structure. These are just four examples of the 17 articles you will find in this new edition of the Mammoet World. We hope you enjoy reading it. Should you want to share your thoughts, ideas or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact us. Best regards, on behalf of all Mammoet professionals, Jan Kleijn, Chief Executive Officer
Issue 13 | 2014
AN INSTALLATION SCHEDULE BY GOING THE DISTANCE
Issue 13 | 2014
Issue 13 | 2014
A May 2013 Transshipment of tower parts in Rotterdam.
July 2013 Transport of 83.5 meter and 30 ton blade using a tailormade transport frame.
REACHING FURTHER WITH CLEVER THINKING AND UNIQUE EQUIPMENT
amsung Heavy Industries has entered the European offshore wind market in a big way. Their prototype seven megawatt wind turbine in the Energy Park Fife, Scotland, is the largest in the world â€“ capable of powering 4,800 homes. But transporting and installing the SHI turbine demanded creative engineering. The approved location was situated in shallow water just 47 meters off the coast of Scotland, and this prevented a traditional approach using a conventional jack-up barge. Mammoet offered a comprehensive approach that proved to be the fastest and safest.
Issue 13 | 2014
RESOURCES CRANES 2 crawler cranes. 2 sheerleg cranes. 2 hydraulic cranes. TRANSPORT 1 truck-dolly combination with special transport adapters.
MARITIME EQUIPMENT 3 low-draft coasters. 1 multipurpose vessel. CREW 15 Mammoet professionals.
Z September 2013 Installation of jacket foundation.
The answer to the shallow water challenge at Energy Park Fife was to install from the land, and that required a smart lifting solution. The nacelle is 18 meters long and weighs nearly 550 tons. It had to be installed at a height of 116 meters, and at a radius of more than 50 meters from where the crane was positioned. The customer favored Mammoet’s approach using a single crane for installation – other contractors had proposed the use of two. The Mammoet plan was faster because it required less preparation time. It was also considered safer because it eliminated the need for complex coordination of two cranes. But first, all components needed to be moved to the destination site. Mammoet arranged the transport of the 83.5 meter long blades, weighing over 30 tons each, from the Danish factory in Kirkeby. For blades of that size and weight, no conventional transporta-
September 2013 Installation reaching completion.
tion vehicle was available. To ensure safe transportation, Mammoet designed and constructed tailormade transport frames that were mounted on the dollies behind the truck and carried the blades. Meanwhile, the tower and nacelle had arrived from their fabrication yards in China and South-Korea at the Port of Rotterdam. From there, Mammoet shipped them onto low-draft coasters, right on schedule. Once all components arrived on-site, Mammoet installed the piles, jacket and transition piece. Then, the tower was erected and installed on the steel jacket foundation by one of Mammoet’s bigger crawler cranes assisted by a 600 ton tailing crane. The installation of the nacelle and three rotor blades completed the construction work. Today the seven megawatt SHI turbine is performing its test program, standing tall at 196 meters. n
Issue 13 | 2014
A game changer for the gas industry
he development of gas resources is becoming more capital intensive and technically difficult. Relatively accessible gas reserves that could easily be connected to nearby domestic and industrial supply networks are already exploited. Their gas production is already declining, and they are reaching the end of their production life. To keep up with rising
energy demands, energy companies are turning to the exploitation of gas reserves that are often located at remote locations. Many of these remote gas fields are located below
the seabed. Although promising in volume, facilities are needed to process and clean the gas, which is often contaminated. Also, infrastructure is needed to transport the gas.
To turn natural gas into Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at sea and offload it onto ships that transport the LNG to where it is needed, Shell is constructing the world’s first Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility: the ‘Prelude’. This facility is capable of processing and liquefaction of the gas and storage and offloading of the LNG – all at sea. When completed, it will be the world’s largest floating offshore facility and it will be deployed some 200 kilometers off Australia’s north-west coast. The facility will have a deck measuring 488 by 74 meters, the length of more than four soccer fields. It is designed to stay safely moored at sea even during the most powerful cyclones. It is capable of producing at least 5.3 million tons per annum (mtpa) of liquids: 3.6 mtpa of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate and
Issue 13 | 2014
0.4 mtpa of LPG and will remain permanently moored at the location for around 20–25 years before needing to dock for inspection and overhaul. This project capitalizes on the five decades of experience Shell has in the LNG industry, in which natural gas is liquefied by chilling it to –162° Celsius (–260°F), shrinking its volume by 600 times. Moving the production and processing out to sea where the gas is found is a major innovation that unlocks huge new energy resources that were always considered too costly or too difficult to develop. The Prelude has the potential to revolutionize the way natural gas resources are developed. Mammoet World, eager to learn more, interviewed Shell’s Projects & Technology Director, Matthias Bichsel.
“We believe that our technology, project delivery capability and operational excellence remain key differentiators for our businesses.”
performance; enhancing our capital efficiency; and continuing our focus on project delivery. And to act on those priorities, we’re really focusing on capital discipline, technology deployment and integration at a large scale, and of course health, safety and the environment.
Can you tell us about Shell’s vision and strategic outlook on industry developments?
Sure. Intense competition exists for access to upstream resources and to new downstream markets. But we believe that our technology, project delivery capability and operational excellence remain key differentiators for our businesses. To make the most of our strengths, we’re allocating capital on the basis of a few global themes. First, there are the bread-and-butter “engines” of our businesses. These are mature downstream and upstream assets that provide strong free cash flow for our dividends and investments. We apply Shell’s technology and management techniques to extend their productive lives and enhance their profitability. Then there are a couple of “growth priorities” based on deepwater and integrated-gas projects. Here, we use the advantages of Shell’s technological know-how and global scale to unlock highly competitive resources positions. And in the “longer term” category we keep potentially very large positions for Shell in the future – developments around shale or tight gas, heavy oil and Iraq, for example. The pace of their development is driven by market and local operating conditions, as well as the regulatory environment.
What are some of the major projects Shell is working on currently around the world? Prelude FLNG Facility.
We’re working on 29 major projects around the world, so I’m not going to list all of them. As I mentioned earlier, Shell is an industry leader in
Shell’s new CEO, Ben van Beurden, recently explained to market analysts what our key priorities for 2014 are. They are: improving our financial
Issue 13 | 2014
Prelude FLNG Hull Float Launch, Geoje, South Korea, 2013, Shell.
Issue 13 | 2014
Prelude FLNG in numbers n
Longer than four soccer fields and displacing six times much water as the largest aircraft carrier, the FLNG facility will be the biggest floating production facility in the world. n >600 engineers worked on the facility’s design options. n >200 km (125 miles) is the distance from the Prelude field to the nearest land.
175 Olympic-sized swimming pools could hold the same amount of liquid as the facility’s storage tanks. n 6,700 horsepower thrusters will be used to position the facility. n 50 million litres of cold water will be drawn from the ocean every hour to help cool the natural gas. n 93 meters (305 feet) is the height of the turret that runs
Issue 13 | 2014
through the facility, secured to the seabed by mooring lines. n –162° Celsius (–260°F) is the temperature at which natural gas turns into LNG. n 1/600 is the factor by which a volume of natural gas shrinks when it is turned into LNG. n 117% of Hong Kong’s annual natural gas demand could be met by the facility’s annual LNG production.
deep water and in LNG – particularly in projects that depend on the latest technology, upstream/ downstream integration and large-scale project management. So let me point out a pair of projects that epitomize what I’m talking about: the redevelopment of the Mars field, where a new tension-leg platform gives 35 years’ more life to our assets there in the Gulf of Mexico, and the building of the Prelude floating LNG facility, which will be the world’s largest floating offshore facility. So Shell is working on the world’s first FLNG barge. What does this new technology mean for the upstream, midstream and downstream industry?
Let me correct you first. Our Prelude FLNG facility is not just a liquefaction plant on a barge. It’s much more. That’s why no other company has built one. It intimately connects a liquefaction plant with a
Issue 13 | 2014
gas-production system. Literally, one sits on top of the other. That’s a bit like building a flour mill on top of a combine harvester – the raw material from a field goes in and a consumer product comes out. As well as producing LNG, the plant will produce two other gas-derived liquids: liquefied petroleum gas and condensate. It will store all three liquid products and safely offload them onto the ships
Shell lays keel for world’s first Floating LNG project. The keel is the first of the mega blocks to be positioned in the dry dock.
“You don’t get a project like Prelude off the ground on your own – even if you’re a company as big as Shell.”
assembled in South Korea. So FLNG projects enable us to keep better control of capital expenditure, especially when onshore construction costs are rising in the country where the facility will ultimately be deployed. Maintenance is another matter. We’re talking about permanent jobs that require a fair amount of skill in that case. So we’re already starting to train Australian staff in the ins and outs of running an LNG plant out of sight of land. How does Shell see partnerships in relations to big projects like FLNG?
They’re absolutely crucial. You don’t get a project like Prelude off the ground on your own – even if you’re a company as big as Shell. That’s why we teamed up in 2009 with Technip and Samsung Heavy Industries for the front-end engineering and design. And we’ve found partners willing to take an equity stake so that the financing could be secured. And there’s the partnership with local and national governments too. They enforce regulations in the interest of public safety and the natural environment, and provide for the social welfare. So public and private companies, governmental and non-governmental bodies all have to work together to make FLNG projects a success. n that transport them to where they are needed. And all of this – the gas production, the processing, the liquefaction, the liquid storing and the offloading – it will do at sea, some 200 kilometers from the nearest shoreline. FLNG was originally developed to help realize the promise of natural gas – specifically, to bring gas to the global market from smaller offshore fields in areas lacking infrastructure. But FLNG is now increasingly being seen as a potential route to the development of offshore gas fields of various sizes – even field clusters, perhaps – where the onshore element of the project is uncertain or constrained. This could be for any number of reasons: technical, political, economic – or indeed environmental. In this regard, FLNG provides unprecedented flexibility. Upfront infrastructure investment is no longer an issue. And, unlike landbased liquefaction plants, an FLNG facility can be redeployed. For these reasons, FLNG makes it possible to consider the development of lesscertain prospects: fields where the amount of gas or the recovery level cannot be predicted with complete confidence. So now you know why FLNG is a game changer for the entire gas industry, bringing innovation across the entire value chain. What challenges do such investments mean for construction and maintenance?
Good question. Although the Prelude FLNG facility is destined for Australian waters, it is being
Who is Matthias Bichsel? Matthias Bichsel became Director of the Projects & Technology business on July 1, 2009. He joined Shell in late 1980 after obtaining a Doctorate in Earth Sciences from the University of Basel, Switzerland. His early career was spent on exploration assignments in Bangladesh, Oman, Canada, Indonesia and the
Netherlands, interspersed with special projects in Head Offices. In 1995, he was appointed Director of Petroleum Development Oman, looking after exploration and deep oil field developments. In 1999, he transferred to Houston as Managing Director of Shell Deepwater Services, where he was involved in all aspects of global deep-water exploration and development. In 2002 he was appointed Executive Vice President Exploration with responsibility for all of Shell’s global exploration activities and performance. Most recently, he held the position of Executive Vice President, Development and Technology from 2006, where he was responsible for delivering reserves and production from new upstream projects, as well as the provision of research and technology to Shell’s Exploration and Production organization. In 2011, he was appointed Honorary Professor of the China University of Petroleum, Beijing. He is member of the industry advisory board of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Matthias is a Swiss citizen born in 1954. He is married to Suzanne, and they have a daughter.
Issue 13 | 2014
FACTORY ON THE
Issue 13 | 2014
Travelling halfway across the world to save time
n close cooperation between Jacobs Engineering and Mammoet, an entire methanol plant was moved from the most southern part
of Chile to Louisiana, USA over a distance of 8,720 kilometers (5,450 miles).
Shale gas developments in North America have created a competitive natural gas environment and, consequently, lower gas prices. This has led to opportunities for
several industries that produce gas-related products, such as methanol. Methanex Corporation, the worldâ€™s largest producer and supplier of methanol, wanted to
benefit from the lower natural gas prices and increase its production capacity in the United States. The sooner it would realize this, the better. Therefore it was decided to relocate two existing methanol plants from Chile to Geismar, Louisiana. Compared to constructing a new plant, relocation would save between six and twelve months â€“ valuable time to profit optimally from market circumstances and price opportunities. Not to mention the fact that this would offer significant capital savings.
One of the modules transported on SPMTs from the original site to the port.
Issue 13 | 2014
The relocation was commissioned to Mammoet and involved an integrated package of services, lifting and moving almost 400 heavy components and modules and setting them up for reassembly. First, the modularization was designed, so that the modules would be compatible with Mammoet’s equipment, the ships and bottlenecks along the route. Then, the Chilean plant was reinforced and split into the designed modules. In turn, the modules were reinforced and moved from their Chilean location to their new US home, along with many heavy components. All components and modules had a combined shipping volume of more than 12,145 metric tons (157,000 freight tons). At certain points along the route, engineering and construction of
“Reversed modularization reduced the re-installation time by roughly 1.5 million work hours.”
special roads and bridges was necessary to facilitate the exceptional transport. There were many other challenges, including loading and sea fastening in the Straits of Magellan, an area notorious for strong currents and sudden storms. Another challenge was offloading in Louisiana, where the Mississippi River levee was crossed via
Jacobs Engineering: vision on reversed modular construction Dismantling and modularizing activities are also described as Reversed Modular Construction. We asked Mike Autrey, Group Vice President at Jacobs Engineering, to share his company’s vision on this method. Reversed Modular Construction – how does that work? “We used expertise from our modular construction operation in Charleston, South Carolina and basically reversed the design process to support the existing equipment and piping in a modular fashion. After completing the logistical studies to determine the maximum module envelope, we evaluated the existing structures and layout to see where it made sense to create modules. In the end, we were able to modularize about half of the existing plant and reduce the re-installation by roughly 1.5 million work hours.” What are the main challenges of disassembling a stick-built factory? “One of the biggest challenges is the coordination of all the factors to be considered, particularly in an international arena. Size and availability of ships, land transport routes, tie-down methods, customs and insurance requirements; and in this particular
Issue 13 | 2014
project – US and Chilean environmental regulations and the seasonal variation in the Mississippi River level – play important roles in the disassembly execution plan. Limitations shift based on the locations involved in a particular project. Jacobs’ ongoing presence in both Chile and Louisiana was a key contributor to the success of the disassembly project.” What were the transportation challenges for this project? “It was an iterative process to identify the right combination of transport equipment and methods. But in the end, the transportation was able to accommodate the design, and not the other way around. The major route challenge was crossing the Mississippi River levee. Mammoet was instrumental in selecting the transportation equipment and securing the permits to make this all happen.”
Dissassembly in Punta Arenas, Chile.
a specially engineered and constructed bridge – the soil conditions requiring a customized design for the bridge and its foundations. Methanex’s Geismar I plant is targeted to be operational by the end of 2014. n
Relocating the plant in five steps
5 Geismar, Louisiana Setting all modules and executing all the heavy lifts. EPC final construction and commissioning.
South Pacific Ocean
4 Port of South Louisiana, Reserve, Louisiana to final offload location at Geismar, Louisiana. Heavy haul route design and construction, including a temporary levee crossing and heavy haul road, connecting to the plantâ€™s heavy haul road. Transport to the Louisiana site and reassembly.
1 Baton Rouge, Louisiana Engineering and coordination between Mammoet, Jacobs Engineering and Methanex, determining the best approach and choosing the path forward.
3 Chile to Louisiana Transport and shipping from Chile to Louisiana. Western Route: The western route through the Panama Canal was used for general cargo ships and heavy lift ships. Eastern Route: The eastern route was used for the loaded barges and semisubmersible vessels that were too wide to be allowed through the Panama canal.
2 Chile, Punta Arenas Continued engineering as well as mobilization of equipment and personnel to start the disassembly. Choosing the qualified subcontractors for shipping. Design and construction heavy haul route from Punta Arenas to the port, including excavations.
CHILE Punta Arenas
Eastern Route Issue 13 | 2014
BUILDING AN ARCH
Issue 13 | 2014
Issue 13 | 2014
hose of us old enough will remember the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, in April, 1986. This accident partly destroyed Reactor Unit 4. Shortly after the accident a shelter – often referred to as ‘the sarcophagus’ – was constructed, as an emergency measure to contain the radioactive materials within this unit. As this sarcophagus was built under extreme conditions and with great haste, it was clear that a more sustainable solution would be needed eventually. Today, a New Safe Confinement (NSC) is being constructed at Chernobyl. It is an arch-shaped structure which will be placed over the destroyed unit to provide a controlled, weatherproof environment. The objective of the NSC is to confine the solid radioactive remains of Unit 4 for the next 100 years and to allow a partial deconstruction of the old plant in the future.
would not be entirely possible if each arch would be elevated in one go.
rise to a height of nearly 110 meters, will be close to 165 meters long, have a span of about 260 meters and weigh close to 35,000 tons. That is big enough to house the Statue of Liberty or Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral. The arch is being constructed in a decontaminated area – the ‘special erection area’ – at a safe distance from the reactor. It is built in two equal parts. Each half is elevated during three jack-up operations. The first half of the arch has already been finished. It was raised to its full height in 2013 and skidded to a temporary location, or ‘waiting area’, clearing the special erection area for construction of the second half. Building the arch in two parts is more cost-effective, as it requires only half the jacking capacity when compared to elevating the entire arch in one go. Cost-effectiveness is further increased by elevating each part in three jacking operations as it allows construction at lower heights. This
The project is led by Novarka, a joint venture between French companies Bouygues Travaux Publics and Vinci Construction Grands Projets. Mammoet was selected by Novarka to engineer and execute the jack-up and skidding operations – a highly challenging task requiring new approaches in engineered heavy lifting and transport. The arch-shaped confinement structure is a design and construction project that is quite unique in the history of engineering. The structure will ultimately
To tackle the challenges posed by both the jacking and skidding operations, Mammoet designed an integrated approach covering a range of innovative, specialized solutions. A customized jacking system was developed by Mammoet: the strand jacks are housed in special containers which are placed on top of the tower sections, making it easy to remove the strand jacks from the tower sections and lower them to ground level for maintenance. This allows for efficient maintenance of the jacking units while the towers are being relocated. New software was also developed to ensure precise control of as much as 60 strand jacks working simultaneously. A new camera system, with a camera in every container, monitors the reels and strand jacks from the control room. In addition, a customized method of protecting the strand wires against the extreme weather conditions is applied to reduce the risk of having to renew it regularly. The most significant innovation for this project is the tailor-made skidding system. It has been engi-
Site overview A Special erection
B Waiting area:
area: dedicated area for construction activities.
C Reactor Unit 4: area
to be confined.
temporary location for arch 1.
C C B B 1 Skidding arch 1 from the special erection area
(A) to the waiting area (B) using a custom-built skid system. The second arch is erected using the same method as the first arch.
Issue 13 | 2014
2 Skidding first arch back to be connected
with second arch in the special erection area and then skidded over Reactor Unit 4.
Each arch is elevated in three jack-up operations at the special erection area neered to position the arch sections. The system is fully remote controlled and has 116 skid shoes, with an average capacity of 703 tons each. It has been designed to operate completely synchronized on both sides of the structure, to ensure the arch moves evenly during the skidding operation. Once the second half of the structure is finished, the two halves will be connected to form the complete arch that is to be placed over the Reactor Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. In order to connect the two sections, Mammoet will skid the first part back towards the second part. The skidding operation is scheduled for late 2014 or early 2015, after which it will take a year to install a fully remotely controlled overhead crane system and various monitoring and control systems which will ensure the integrity of the structure for its designed life span of a minimum of 100 years.
1 First jack-up to elevate
2 Repositioning jacking
system for second jack-up. C
3 Arch elements added and
second jack-up operation to elevate the arch further. C
Upon finishing all preparatory works, the complete arch, weighing approx. 35,000 tons, will be skidded over a distance of 330 meters to Reactor Unit 4 in approximately 1 week, completing this exceptional project. n
4 Repositioning jacking
system for third jack-up. C
5 Arch elements added and
third jack-up to elevate the arch to its final position. C
6 Arch 1 is fully elevated and
ready to be skidded from the special erection area (A) to the waiting area (B).
Issue 13 | 2014
Issue 13 | 2014
Issue 13 | 2014
Issue 13 | 2014
October 4 Structure complete to 49 m, ready for reactor.
October 6 Reactor rolls off barge.
3 October 6 Reactor crosses bridge over River Rd.
4 October 7 Reactor set in tower.
GETTING UP AND RUNNING IN
HALF THE TIME
arly this year, Nucor Corporation, one of the largest steel producers in the United States, started production at their new steel mill in Louisiana. In close collaboration with
Mammoet, the most important part of the steel mill, the furnace, was built in only six
months â€“ allowing commissioning and production to start six months earlier than originally planned.
Issue 13 | 2014
5 October 8 PTC rigged to Module 1.
Upon planning the construction, Nucor intended to stick-build the entire furnace. An important phase in the construction would be the installation of the reactor into the base of the furnace structure; a heavy lifting operation for which they considered using a gantry system. With this plan, Nucor consulted Mammoet. After thorough analysis Mammoet’s engineers concluded there was a much better alternative for building the facility: modular construction. Stick building the furnace would take about a year. It would mean having to work at heights, and dealing with the safety risks that come along with it. Building the furnace in five modules on the ground would be a much safer option, and it would cut the construction time in half, bringing forward the commissioning phase and production date by six months (see illustration on page 28–29). For lifting the 1,100 ton reactor and the five large modules, Mammoet also proposed a new
6 October 9 Module 1 set.
October 12 Modules 4 and 5 set in tower.
approach. As a tower gantry is fixed on its location, each module would have to be transported on a SPMT to the gantry before being lifted into place. Mammoet’s PTC 140 DS – one of the largest cranes in the world, in the 5,000 ton class – would be better suited for this job. The crane would be able to reach all modules from one central position and lift them into place – a much faster way than using a gantry system. The proposal was readily accepted and Mammoet was put in charge of planning and executing the lifts. First, the base of the furnace structure was stick built to a height of 49 meters, while the five modules were constructed around the crane. Once all the modules were ready, they would be lifted into place within one week. While construction progressed, Mammoet also handled the transport of about 50 parts for the facility, such as process and pressure
October 13 Furnace complete.
vessels and the key component for the furnace: the reactor. This reactor had to be loaded onto a barge at the manufacturer site in Texas and shipped to a river port at the Mississippi, close to the construction site. Transporting the reactor – 56 meter tall, 9.15 meter in diameter and weighing approx. 1,100 tons – proved to be the most challenging part of all transport activities: on its way from the river port to the construction site, the reactor would cross a levee and a river road that both appeared too fragile and therefore could be damaged by the heavy load. Avoiding the levee and road, however, would delay the transportation and installation schedule by several days. Mammoet rose to that challenge by building a bridge over the levee and river road. “We had to come up with a solution to make sure we wouldn’t damage the levee with the reactor”, says crane manager Brett Taylor. “That
Issue 13 | 2014
is why we built a temporary bridge over it.” Michael Cook, Technical Solutions Manager at Mammoet USA, adds: “The alternative was to make a very long detour and that would have delayed the project. That was not an option”. Mammoet also built a temporary road over the swampy area between the river and the bridge. “For that we made a 250 meter long road, primarily of limestone, sand and clay”, says Cook. Shortly before the reactor reached the bridge, all traffic was
stopped. Taylor: “It was almost like a movie star was on its way. Everyone was watching”.
“There were only centimeters of space for maneuvering the reactor into its structure”, says Cook. “It was extremely tight. Thanks to detailed engineering and the communication between our engineers and field supervision it went smoothly. It took less than three hours to put the reactor in place.”
Thanks to the road and bridge, transporting the reactor from the river bank to the site took only three hours instead of several days, without any damage to the environment. On site, the reactor was lifted 67 meters and placed carefully into the steel furnace structure.
(modular construction, six months)
Original plan (stick building, twelve months)
Issue 13 | 2014
After this, the modules were lifted and installed. All in all, the grass roots construction of the steel mill was completed in just six months. “All the piping was already in place when we installed the modules, making the project less complex”, says Taylor. “It’s not every day work to build a temporary bridge
and road”, Cook adds. “It was one of the heaviest and more complex transport and lifting operations in this part of the world. But also one of the most satisfactory: we pulled it off safely without any damage to the environment and half a year earlier than originally planned!” n
Mammoet approach 1 The base of the furnace is stick built. In
parallel and on-site the rest of the furnace is constructed in modules and the PTC 140 DS is assembled. 2 After the base is constructed, the reactor
is lifted into the base and the modules are lifted onto it to complete the furnace. All within one week.
Original plan 1 The base of the furnace is constructed. 2 A gantry system is assembled to lift the
reactor into the base. 3 After disassembling the gantry system,
construction work continues at elevation. 4 To finish the furnace, construction takes
place at increasing heights. 3 The furnace can now be commissioned. 5 The furnace can now be commissioned. 4 The steel mill is in production. 6 The steel mill is in production.
“Mammoet’s engineers concluded there was a much faster and safer alternative for building the furnace.”
Issue 13 | 2014
Salvaging the past to save the future 30
Issue 13 | 2014
In 1946, the US Army transport ship, the Zalinski, was on its final journey. The vessel had served for almost three decades and all throughout the dark days of World War 2. However, it ran aground off western Canada and sank without a trace. The Zalinski was heard of no more for decades, until it started leaking fuel. The Canadian Coast Guard, with Roger Girouard at the helm, mounted a salvage operation with Mammoet. Issue 13 | 2014
Top: Grenville channel. Left: The USAT Brigadier General M.G. Zalinski.
n September 1946, the Zalinski was ploughing through the waters of the Grenville Channel, on its way to Alaska. It was carrying a cargo of army supplies, including 700 tons of bunker fuel. A sudden storm dashed the sturdy vessel against the rocks of Pitt Island, 55 miles south of Prince Rupert. Its hull was ruptured and the ship quickly sank. Fortunately the 48 crew members all survived, but the ship disappeared beneath the waves, another casualty of the treacherous coastline known as â€˜the graveyard of the Pacificâ€™.
Choppy waters, hidden depths
The exact location of the wreck remained unknown, but for half a century local fishermen reported mysterious oil slicks in the area. The ship was finally located in 2003 after an upwelling of fuel. It was perched on a ledge 30 meters down. The Zalinski was eventually identified and the manifest showed the approximate amount of fuel onboard. This posed a potential threat to the coastline so it was decided to extract the fuel and a large-scale salvage operation was mounted. The Canadian Coast Guard had had good experiences with Mammoet when they performed
Issue 13 | 2014
“The insights we have taken away and the relationships we have forged are worth their weight in gold.” a delicate salvage operation in Robson Bight in 2009. In this environmentally highly sensitive project, Mammoet successfully salvaged a metal cube containing 1,400 liters of hydraulic oil and a fully loaded fuel truck. Therefore, Mammoet was assigned to remove the fuel, which presented a number of challenges. Stormy weather and strong tidal currents restricted divers to working short shifts. The salvors also had to deal with monsters from the depths. During the operation, a Remote Operated Vehicle was grappled by an inquisitive giant octopus. Fortunately neither the ROV nor the behemoth was harmed. Eventually all went well. Pumps and hoses were connected to valves mounted on the exterior of the hull. The fuel was then extracted through the gate valves and pumped into tanks on a barge on the surface. The incident commander
The incident commander for the 10-week operation was Canadian Coast Guard Assistant Commissioner for the Western Region, Roger
The ROV and divers were met by a 2 1⁄2 meter Giant Pacific Octopus residing at the wreck.
Issue 13 | 2014
Girouard (57). A twenty year Navy veteran, the experienced sailor had only joined the Coast Guard the year before. If he thought he was going to be able to lean back and enjoy the scenery, he had another think coming. Roger was tasked with coordinating with the Coast Guard Response Team, Mammoet, the Federal Environment and Defense departments, the provincial government and representatives of the First Nations. Roger says: “An eclectic group of people was involved, all united in our determination to preserve the environment. It was a fairly unique operation for the Canadian Coast Guard and the insights we have taken away and the relationships we have forged are worth their weight in gold.”
“Any sailor will tell you that a bad day at sea is better than a good day at the office.”
Not for the faint of heart
Roger’s love of the countryside is obvious: “The coastline around here is as pristine as it gets. It’s steep and rugged, definitely not for the faint of heart. There is an abundance of wildlife, everything from deer to grizzly bears. The rivers that run through it are filled with salmon, herring and shellfish, which are an important source of food and income for the local Gitga’at and Gitxa’ala communities, who describe the sea as their ‘refrigerator’. Out on the water, you can see anything from sea eagles to whales. The region is awesome and it would be terrible if anything happened to it.”
There was a lot at stake in the operation, but the gravel-voiced mariner took it in his stride. When asked to describe his work, he grins: “It’s very salty!” There’s a lot more to it than that though: “I am responsible for coordinating the work of some 1,100 personnel in an area approximately the size of Europe. Our role is basically safety on the water; we’re the cops on the sea. It involves overseeing local shipping, environmental response, and search and rescue missions. Besides all that, I have to balance the budgets, which is the worst part of my job.”
Issue 13 | 2014
Canadian Coast Guard at work.
It’s not all just clear sailing, however, there are also drawbacks: “The biggest challenge I face is allo-
Hot tap system: removing oil from a wreck
1 Oil is located in the wreck. The hot tap
system is installed on the hull of the wreck.
2 A barge with the pump system is moved
into place above the wreck. 3 Hot water is used to warm the heavy oil,
making it easier to remove. 4 The warmed up oil is pumped up to the
barge into containers.
cating our finite resources as effectively as possible to cover the enormous territory so that we are able to respond smoothly when the need arises.”
their devotion and ingenuity. They constantly inspire me and working with them is the best part of my job.”
The veteran mariner stoically accepts his deskbound duties: “Any sailor will tell you that a bad day at sea is better than a good day at the office. I still love being out on a boat or up in a plane inspecting the area or my troops, but I don’t get to do that as much as I would like nowadays. But during my Navy days, I spent plenty of time on the water. The way I look at it, is that I’m paying back for all that fun by supporting those who get to do it now.”
More challenges lie ahead for Roger and his men: “Because of rising fuel demands, shipping will increase drastically throughout the area. This poses all kinds of logistical, safety and environmental challenges. However, thanks to what we learnt from the Zalinski operation and the contacts we made, we are definitely better equipped to deal with potential disasters in the future.” n
Man with a Mission
Roger is a man with a mission: “I’m a nature nut and I love bird watching and seal and whale sighting. I’m not just a sailor, I’m a mariner, and that means being concerned about the environment. We at the Coast Guard have a clear mandate to look out for the environment for future generations.” He and his colleagues take their custodianship of the area seriously. It’s something that gives him a great sense of pride and satisfaction: “The Coast Guard is a national gem. The folks who come to the job have a real passion for it. Even though we have limited resources, I’m always amazed by how my people manage to do just a little bit more with
Issue 13 | 2014
Issue 13 | 2014
FROM BRAIN WAVE TO HEAVY LIFT TERMINAL IN ONE YEAR Issue 13 | 2014
MTC-15: transforming any port into a heavy lift terminal L
ast year, Elecnor, a Spanish construction company in the energy sector, started the construction of a new power plant in Juan Manuel Valdez for Venezuela’s National Oil Company, PDVSA. It had contracted Mammoet to deliver four turbines, four generators and general cargo, measuring about 40,000 freight tons altogether, from factories in Europe and the United States to the site in Güiria, Venezuela.
All the materials were shipped on one cargo-bearing vessel. However, the port closest to the construction site, Güiria, only 20 kilometers away did not have the heavy-lift facilities required to offload the materials from the vessel. That meant the vessel had to sail to the nearest existing heavy-lift facilities 300 kilometers
Mammoet Terminal Crane, the MTC-15, to turn the small fisherman’s port of Güiria into a temporary heavy-lift terminal. In doing so, the cargo-bearing vessel was able to sail straight through to Güiria and deliver the materials only 20 kilometers from the construction site, saving Elecnor and PVDSA a considerable amount of time and expense.
further away, in Trinidad. From there the shipments would need to be loaded onto several, smaller barges and transported to the construction site, a time-consuming and expensive detour. Mammoet came up with an alternative that would solve this issue. It proposed using its brand-new
Brainchild of Mammoet’s Think Tank MTC-15 on its maiden job in the small port of Guïria, Venezuala.
This was the first time the MTC15 was put through its paces. The Mammoet Terminal Crane is the brainchild of Mammoet’s Think Tank, a team set up to monitor
Paloma Frutos, Logistics manager Guïria Project, ELECNOR: “The opportunity to convert a small and unsuitable terminal into a heavy lift terminal with Mammoet’s MTC15, saved us a lot of time and money, and made the transport route easier from port to site. The two alternative routes from the commercial port or a beach landing were both less effective, more costly and would have presented more risks. We are very happy with our equipment installed ahead of schedule.”
Issue 13 | 2014
Issue 13 | 2014
Assembly back mast, ballast containers and pendants. Installation winches.
Assembly main boom.
market developments, anticipate new customer demands and develop innovative concepts and solutions. The members of the Think Tank saw an increase in demand for engineered heavy lifting and transport in remote areas and locations with limited infrastructure, leading to a growing need for equipment that combines easy mobilization, low ground bearing pressure and high capacity. For example, in developing countries with a lack of infrastructure, the first order of business is to build power stations that will support initiatives to industrialize. The biggest single piece of equipment
in a standard power plant weighs about 500 tons. That means there is a demand for heavy lifting capacity. However, quays are often small and situated in remote areas. Their ground generally is not capable of carrying objects with a high ground bearing pressure like heavy lift cranes and their loads. These insights prompted the Think Tank to come up with the idea to create a new terminal crane for heavy cargo handling that would be able to convert any small port, quay or riverbank into a heavy lift terminal. They sketched out what would be
Simple sophistication Down to the smallest detail, the design accommodates working at remote locations. The crane’s ballast containers are fitted with the kind of bag used to ship wine in bulk and filled with water. Instead of using complicated gauges to measure the water level in the ballast container, it is controlled by a simple, yet effective mechanism. Inside the container, a small weight is placed on top of the water bag. The weight is connected to a counterweight outside the container. Should the water level inside the container drop, the counterweight will rise – signaling that the ballast needs to be checked.
Issue 13 | 2014
needed for a crane that would help Mammoet’s customers shorten, lighten, or otherwise improve their logistics chains. Overall, the team was after a crane that could prove its worth, not just through what it could do, but through what it would make possible for our customers-the alternatives it would open up for them. They wanted a crane that could be the lynchpin to define new logistics chains that are more efficient and cost-effective. The team took their idea to the engineers at Mammoet’s Solutions department to see whether
“The MTC-15 is fully booked and we are now building an additional crane.”
Rotating crane into position, without the ballast containers.
it could be built. The requirements were clear: “We want to design a crane that is easy and quick to mobilize and assemble and that will have a low groundbearing pressure; a crane that any port will be able to accommodate without having to be reinforced”. Sustainability was also an important factor; the team wished to recycle components from Mammoet cranes that are no longer in use. As one of the requirements was simplicity, Mammoet also came up with an innovation for the ballast system. Sand was one possibility, but not universally available. But there was another option that’s to be found at any port: water. The team decided to fit the ballast containers with the kind of bag used to ship wine in bulk.
be used at remote locations upriver. Depending on the river system, river heights can vary significantly. Most types of barge can fit under bridges only when the rivers are not swollen-but with a hopper barge that is less of a constraint. As the total height including cargo is less, it is more suitable for upriver transport, provided that a crane with heavy lift capacity is available for unloading. The design of the MTC-15 makes it possible to unload from hopper barges without the need for a heavy lift crane. That effectively lengthens the periods when the MTC-15 can do
One year from sketch to reality
For five months, a total of twelve engineers worked on the detailed engineering. It took one year from initial sketch to having the crane tested and ready for use.
The MTC-15 provides ports throughout the world with 600 ton off-loading capacity on a temporary basis.
The result is a crane that provides ports throughout the world with 600 tons off-loading capacity on a temporary basis. With a lifting capacity of 600 tons at 25 meters and a load moment of 15,000 metric tons, the MTC-15 is comparable to a 1,200 metric ton crawler crane.
Remote locations upriver Not only can the MTC-15 prove its value in sea ports, it can also
This minimizes the need for selfgeared cargo vessels and eliminates the use of expensive floating cranes. With a lifting capacity of 600 tons at 25 meters and a load moment of 15,000 metric tons, the MTC-15 is comparable to a 1,200 metric ton crawler crane. Quick lifting and boom movements are possible with a lifting speed of up to 1.5 m/min and four 22 ton winches. The MTC-15 can be positioned close to the quay edge without the need for additional works, as the ground bearing pressure can be reduced to as little as 10 Te/m2.
its work upriver. And for locations far upriver, it means in turn that the customer doesn’t have to think about lugging hundreds of tons of equipment over poor roads, applying for road permits, building bridges or realizing other infrastructural improvements like road reinforcements. The crane is booked solid up to 2015, and a second one is now being built. Its maiden job in Güiria passed off really well, and helped make PVDSA’s task much more efficient and cost-effective than it would otherwise have been. n
Several factors contribute to the fast and economical mobilization of the MTC-15 n The crane is fully containerized, meaning it can be transported in only twenty-five standard 20 ft containers. n The use of water for ballasting. n Assembly time between seven and ten days. n The MTC is assembled and erected with the use of one 80 ton crane. Technical Specifications n Max. capacity: 600 ton. n Outreach @ 600 ton: 7–25 m. n Max. lifting speed: 1.5 m/min. n Max. boom up/down speed: 20 m/min. n Ground bearing pressure (standard arrangement): – 10 Te/m2 @ counterweight arrangement. – 17 Te/m2 @ base frame arrangement. n The ground bearing pressure can be further reduced with additional load spreaders. n No. of ballast containers: 20. n Max. weight of ballast containers: 520 ton. n Counterweight material: water (in water bags) or sand. n Crane to assemble the MTC-15: 80 ton mobile crane.
Issue 13 | 2014
THE D 42
Issue 13 | 2014
ESERT Issue 13 | 2014
ammoet recently finished a big transport job for Samsung Saudi Arabia, the main contractor for a new petrochemical plant run by Saudi Aramco. The assign-
ment was to transport equipment from Dammam Industrial Area and
Frank Bijsterbosch and Muhammad ‘Chacha’ Arshad, Senior Heavy Duty Truck Driver Mammoet.
Al Jubail Port in the north, to the new plant in Shaybah, Rub Al Khali The transport including the
(‘the Empty Quarter’) 1,050 kilometers south of Dammam. 200 trips were made to transport 202 items to their new home at Shaybah. Each trip would take an 18-man team over winding roads, through the searing heat of the inhospitable desert terrain. With no facilities along the last 500-kilometre stretch of this journey, the team had to be entirely self-sufficient. In total, 90 men from 7 nationalities (Malaysia, Netherlands, U.K, Pakistan, India, Philippines, Sri Lanka) worked side by side to get the job done. This was team work at its finest; driving side by side, looking out for each other’s trucks, and many occasions where the team had to set up camp. Sometimes they had to stay put for days on end, waiting for authorities to give clearance for
Issue 13 | 2014
Facts and Figures n n n
n n n
power to be cut off so the power lines could be removed, or blocking the road for other traffic so the oversized transport could pass. The heaviest item was an amine contactor, weighing 1,084 metric tons. It was the bulkiest and the heaviest object ever to be transported over such a long distance. The Overall Transport Supervisor for the entire assignment was Frank Bijsterbosch. Mammoet World spoke with him about this job, the team and what kind of experience it was for them.
Total number of trips: 200. Total distance from Dammam Industrial Area to Shaybah: 1,050 kilometers (652 miles). In total, we transported 202 items across the desert and installed them. The lightest weighed about 60 tons. The biggest transport was an amine contactor, 1,084 metric tons, which was transported on two hydraulic trailers and ten prime movers. On each trip, the team consisted of 18 people from 4–5 different countries. Traffic between Jubail and Dammam had to take place during night hours, so as not to disturb traffic. During the first 400 kilometers (248 miles), power lines needed to be lifted at several places to allow transport to pass. The team needed to set up camp regularly. The transport had to deal with about 150 steep inclines, ranging from 3 to 8%. The temperature during the day would frequently rise to 50º Celsius (122º Fahrenheit).
“We drove the entire route a number of times to see where power lines would need to be removed.”
This must have been a massive job, transporting an amine contactor over such a long distance, in that kind of circumstances.
Yes, it was a bit of a challenge. We transported it on two hydraulic trailers with 32 axle lines. The suspension on the trailers had to be continually adjusted to ensure that the weight was distributed safely. Just one thing, though, that I’d like to clear up. In fact transporting and installing the amine contactor was just a small part of the overall job we did for Samsung. There were two towers of about this weight, and a couple of less heavy but still bulkier items-but that was just two trips out of 200 that we made. All told, we transported 202 items across the desert and installed them. The lightest weighed about 60 tons.”
You were the Overall Transport Supervisor. What did that involve?
“Of course an assignment such as this had to be carefully planned, right from the start. We started that about a year before we took the first load across the desert. Then, about three months in advance, I flew over to Saudi Arabia and made more-detailed preparations. We drove the entire route a number of times to see where power lines would need to be removed and where we would need the local police to stop highway traffic for us-that was in the first 400 or so kilometers. And then, for the entire trip, I checked the gradient of the slopes and what road modifications would need to be made, for instance.”
Issue 13 | 2014
and then there was the remainder of the journey, where there was nothing apart from the road. No places to stock up on food or water, no fuel, no power, no phone signal, and for long stretches not even a signal for satellite phones.”
A lot of planning, then. And did it pay off?
“It did. Mammoet had intensive contacts with the local authorities, to make sure that everything would go as smoothly as possible. But you know what they say about even the best-laid plans: for example, we would make arrangements ahead of time with the local police for them to stop traffic at a certain point on a highway. The idea was that we would tell them when we expected to arrive at the designated location, and they would be waiting for us. However, it happened more than once that we would arrive at the designated spot and there would be no police in sight.”
So no communications at all with the outside world.
“That’s right. Rub al Khali means “the Empty Quarter”, a very appropriate name. Even the sky above us was empty of satellites. So we had to be completely self-sufficient. We were supplied with fuel and water every couple of days, and then each evening a team went ahead and set up camp at the spot we knew we would be stopping at, so that everything would be ready when we arrived.”
So you would have to wait.
“Yes, and not just once, because sometimes there was a knock-on effect from the first delay: It also happened on more than one occasion that the local power company would be waiting for us on the other side of the highway, ready to cut power lines to make way for our payload. And the holdup at the highway meant that we could not make it by the pre-arranged time to the spot where the lines were to be removed. So we would have to reschedule with the power company, and sit tight until they came again to cut the lines.”
What was the daily schedule like?
“You had to take the heat into account. During the day, temperatures can get up to 50 degrees Celsius in the summer months. To beat the heat, we would get up at 4:00 or 4:30, and drive till noon, and then stop till 15:00, when the temperature would start coming down again. Then we would hit the road again till about 19:00 or 19:30. And each evening we would build a camp fire.” Nice. So what was the atmosphere like, socially for example?
That had to get frustrating at times.
“Yes and no. Of course you want to keep going and get the job done, but these kinds of things go with the territory, and naturally we have to build in some wiggle room in the planning for unex-
pected delays. Sometimes, it meant setting up camp and staying put for a number of days. We had our accommodation truck with us, and it was very special to see the team with its different nationalities working together, making the best of it, doing maintenance and finding other useful things to do.” What can you tell us about living in that kind of natural environment for weeks on end?
“In a way, each trip we made had two parts to it: the first 400 kilometers or so, where we had to cross highways and, for the few trips with bulky items, have power lines removed as I mentioned-
Issue 13 | 2014
“This story is primarily about teamwork. On every trip, the team consisted of 18 professionals,
Some members of the team.
Mostly it was about sharing know-how. But if we needed extra back-up, then I knew I could make a call to the office and speak to the team back there to be doubly sure. Whatever the problem, they would check with whoever they needed to in whatever part of the company to find the answer. They’re as focused on getting a solution as I am. I have a practical view out here, and they can complement that back there with their theoretical knowledge.” You almost make it sound easy.
“Well now don’t get me wrong: we would often have to improvise or come up with some workaround. For example, we shortened the trailer from 53 to 48 meters by putting the power packs on top instead of at each end. You can be flexible about a lot of things, except one, really: getting the job done, and done right.”
from various countries, like The Philippines and Pakistan. There was a strong sense of a shared mission, everyone worked hard by day and shared their food at night. A lot of very skilled colleagues worked on this project and it made for a very special atmosphere.” How many trips did you make yourself?
“I made about 25 trips, plus the advance trips to set everything up. The other trips were done by several other team members, who did an excellent job.” How did that play out in practical terms?
“Whenever we came across a problem, say in planning how to get the amine contactor – “the Thing”, as we called it – over the sharp crest of a hill (the trailer was 48 meters long!), most of the time we could solve it ourselves out on the road.
At Shaybah site
So that’s what drives Mammoet on jobs like this?
Mammoet lifted all items
“We heard from the customer that some other companies had suggested it was not possible to get the amine towers across the desert, and I have to admit it was no small feat. I think the drive within Mammoet to achieve what nobody believes possible, backed up by our tremendous expertise allowed us to pull the job off.”
It must have been a great feeling to deliver and install the last few items.
“It was indeed. I was happy when the last few big items were on site and we could hand everything over to our colleagues who did the lifting and installing. The customer was really appreciative. It’s at moments like this that you get a real sense of accomplishment, the feeling that all the teamwork has paid off. And it makes all the effort worthwhile.” n
“Rub al Khali means ‘The Empty Quarter’, a very appropriate name.” Issue 13 | 2014
50 MILLIMETERS TO LIFT A BOEING 747
ibreMax is a manufacturer of fiber cables that are as strong as steel, yet more flexible, much lighter and with a longer life-span. They are smart too, as they can measure
and report their own wear accurately.
steel”. An idea was born; Van der Schuit realized right there and then that the world was ready for a better kind of cable, and he was going to find it. At that moment Van der Schuit was not a novice to business; in 1983 he had started his first company in mechanical air filters which soon expanded to a point where he was able to acquire companies in spray paint, maintenance and car coatings, adding some homemade inventions to the mix. By 1997, the company had turned into a conglomerate of seven companies with a substantial turnover. Another three years later, Van der Schuit sold his businesses when he found they no longer offered enough challenge.
In 2003, Rinze van der Schuit, founder of FibreMax, watched sail yachts while drinking coffee on a Monaco boulevard. The person sitting at a table next to him pointed towards some steel wires and said: “Those will need to be replaced soon. They suffer from an affliction called steel fatigue”. From the conversation that followed, Van der Schuit learned that every year, many ship masts break down because of this steel fatigue in their cables – if that happens, it can put a ship in immediate and severe danger. His simple yet provocative conclusion was: “So cables should not be made of
However, he was not about to rest on his laurels and in 2003 he became obsessed by the idea to find an alternative for steel cables.
Rinze van der Schuijt, founder and owner of Fibremax.
The search led him to fiber and the ‘endless winding’ technology. This technology is not new: it is a fully
Issue 13 | 2014
Weaving of cable cover
Issue 13 | 2014
automated process of continuous winding of parallel strands of synthetic fibers – such as Twaron and Dyneema – or carbon around two end fittings until the right cable strength or cable stretch has been attained. Van der Schuit started an extensive research & development program which he financed entirely in order to take this technology to a whole new level and develop a unique production process – the details of which he keeps strictly to himself. The result is a cable that is up to 90% lighter than steel cables that have the same ‘Minimum Breaking Load’, and with a life span that is up to 15 times longer. It can be manufactured to the exact length needed, with a tolerance of 2 mm. Last but not least, each cable has an ‘ipendant’ – an optical fiber inside the cable that measures the micro changes in the length of the cable due to wear of the fibers inside. Thus, it is able to accurately indicate the moment the cable must be replaced.
The production process of FibreMax also produces better cables when compared to other cables made with synthetic fibers or carbon using endless winding technology. Van der Schuit proudly explains: “It is difficult to further increase the breaking strength of such cables above 200 – 300 tons with endless winding technology. We are the only company in the world that can produce cables with a breaking strength of more than 1,000 tons. And we go far beyond that. In fact, we have just been certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV)1 for a cable that has a breaking strength of 3,600 tons. Also, our production process
DNV is the world
leading classification and certification body.
FibreMax cables are used for a wide variety of applications such as cranes, heavy mining equipment, aircraft, ferris wheels, bridges and, depicted here, tension leg platform wind turbines. The wind turbine, towering 300 meters above sea level, is installed on the platform and secured by five of the biggest cables with a breaking strength of 4,000 tons.
Issue 13 | 2014
The development took a lot of investment, perseverance and ingenuity. Once FibreMax was up and running, Van der Schuit traveled the world ten times over in one year. Now, an increasing
“The result is a cable that is much lighter than steel, yet equally strong and with a much longer life span.”
realizes greater consistency in the quality of cables: if we produce ten cables according to the same specifications, you will find that the difference among them in terms of breaking strength is less than 1%. This consistency is sustainable – Lloyds Register has certified that our cables, even after millions of movements, have less than 1% loss in their breaking strength.”
number of customers share Van der Schuit’s enthusiasm for the product. The cables are used in construction, mining, offshore, and heavy transport industries, as well as heavy lifting and industrial equipment. Van der Schuit elaborates: “Our cables are going to be used on Tension Leg Platform Wind Turbines in the South West Marine Energy Park in the UK. These six megawatt offshore wind turbines will be placed in 130 meters deep water. The floating tension leg platform is installed 15 meters under sea level. The wind turbine, towering 300
meters above sea level, is installed on the platform and secured by five of our biggest cables that have a breaking strength of 4,000 tons each. Our cables were selected because they can be manufactured to the exact millimeter, they last the required 20 years and most importantly, they can withstand a total of 40 to 60 million movements. For these same reasons, they will be used in the Seatricity Wave Energy Project, which is also in the North Sea. Our cables have also been used in the gates of the Panama Canal.
We delivered 72 cables that were manufactured with an accuracy of 0.5 millimeters. Because of their light weight, they were able to use a much smaller ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle, used under water) during installation than would otherwise have been the case with steel cables, thus saving a significant amount of money in ROV rental. The American Army is another client of ours. They utilize our cables for the seats in their airplanes and choppers, saving a bundle on maintenance time. The crew seats consist of a steel frame, seating material and two cross wires. Those cross wires are usually made of aluminum. Aluminum is light, but not strong enough to withstand a lot of movement which means they need to be replaced every three to five years, rendering the aircraft idle. They have now switched to using our cables for the cross wire, again for their resilience to movement. Most importantly, they do not need to be replaced, resulting in substantial savings for the army. The offshore industry is also very interested in our product. The list goes on as more customers are getting convinced of the quality of our cables. In the end, it all comes down to this: you don’t buy time with steel, and time is the most precious commodity of all.” n
With a weight of 20 kg and a diameter of 50 mm, this cable is strong enough to lift a Boeing 747.
Issue 13 | 2014
Essar turnaround Raising the roof to boost the bottom line At Essar Energy refinery in the UK, the cyclones, which are at the heart of the refinery to separate process catalysts, were coming to the end of their operational life after 25 years and needed to be replaced. Although the operation took four years to prepare and develop, the final execution was undertaken during a 30 day turnaround. Removing the cyclones through a large hole in the regenerator shell would have taken 60 days. To save time, it was decided to remove the entire regenerator head including the cyclones from the top of the shell and replace both. This approach saved Essar a full 30 days of turnaround time. In alliance with turnaround specialist Foster Wheeler, Essar scheduled the turnaround four years in advance, to take place in October 2013. Mammoet was contracted to engineer and manage the transports and lifts required to remove and replace the regenerator head and cyclones, a project that involved dealing with tight space and time constraints.
“The transport had been very well planned in advance, but close to the transport date we had an unforeseen obstacle”, says Paul Nixon, Mammoet’s Senior Project Manager for the Essar assignment. “As is standard practice with a transport of this size and weight, the Area Engineering Agency (acting for the Highways Authority) carried out assessments of all the structures that the transport would traverse along the route, and how that weight could best be distributed to ensure the safe passing of the transport and avoid damage to the roads or any of the bridges and culverts on the route.
The new regenerator head and cyclones on their way from the temporary head frame to their final destination.
This process was a critical part of the long term planning, and part of the approval process that had been agreed many months in advance, allowing Mammoet
Historic milestone As part of the integrated approach, Mammoet took care of the transport of the new regenerator head. First, under contract from the Belgium fabricator Ellimetal, Mammoet supported Ellimetal’s shipping contractor in the loading and transportation of the new head in two sections from Genk to Antwerp, Belgium. Once in Antwerp, the head was assembled, and pre3 pared for its sea voyage. Subsequently, it was loaded onto a barge for shipping to the UK. At Ellesmere Port, the regenerator head was offloaded and stored. 4 On the exact date that was set two years in advance, the new regenerator head was carried on a train of 30 axle lines of double wide SPMTs from Ellesmere Port to the Essar Energy refinery at Stanlow, five kilometers away. Combined, the SPMTs and its cargo weighed 700 tons. This was the largest regenerator head with cyclones to be fabricated and transported in the world and, according to Essar, it was a historic milestone and investment for Stanlow.
Issue 13 | 2014
1 ‘Telephone piece’. This
part was removed first, so the regenerator head and cyclones could be reached. 2 Vertical riser. 3 Regenerator head. 4 Cyclones. 5 Dip-legs. 6 Regenerator shell.
The regenerator head and cyclones were removed from the shell and replaced.
Issue 13 | 2014
1 Frame with regenerator head is skidded
over pipe rack. 2 Lifting the regenerator head and
positioning it into the regenerator shell.
to provide the optimum number of axle lines to meet with the agreed load case. However, two months before the transport date, a new Area Engineering Agency was appointed by the Highways Authority. They revised the assessments and specifications that Mammoet had based its plan on and, subsequently, we needed to adjust our plan to their new findings.” That meant going back to the drawing board in the midst of turnaround preparations. The key solution for the transport was to increase the trailer length and the number of axle lines – the permit was issued just in the nick of time, and Mammoet delivered the new head to the site as scheduled.” “Having to focus on multiple work fronts at the same time, reworking all the plans for the transport while pressing ahead with on-site preparations was a challenge for us”, says Paul. “But in fact it was not the biggest one we faced. The toughest part of the entire job was fitting the PTC crane and the skid-beam system into a really tight location on-site. This task was managed by Senior Project Manager Anja den Braber, who executed the entire on-site scope for Mammoet.”
Exact fit Anja’s job was quite a challenge. With tight time and space constraints, the execution had to be flawless. Well in advance of the lifts, Mammoet provided Essar with a 3D model of the crane, which was then put
Issue 13 | 2014
“The toughest part of the entire job was fitting the PTC crane and the skid-beam system into a really tight location on-site.”
together with a model of the plant that had been generated from laser scans – ensuring that all lifts would steer well clear of existing equipment. The space constraints also necessitated special solutions for transporting the regenerator head through the refinery as well as storing and skidding it prior to the lifting operation. Once the transport had arrived at Stanlow, Mammoet first had to jack up the head two meters and reduce the SPMT train from a double 30 line trailer to a double 22 line trailer, enabling it to pass through the site. Next, the head was lifted into one of two awaiting frames, assembled to store both the new and the redundant head. Ideally, these frames would have been positioned next to the crane. However, in the area where the PTC was assembled, there was no room left for the frames. Therefore, they had to be stored at a different area, which was out of the crane’s reach.
The PTC area and the storage area were separated by a pipe rack, which presented a road obstacle. This meant the regenerator head could not be driven to the crane on a SPMT. This issue was resolved by constructing a skid system comprising two 38metre-long gantry beams that had previously been used in the raising of the Russian Kursk submarine, affectionately known at Mammoet as ‘Kursk beams’. This approach made it possible to skid the regenerator head towards the crane and lift it in its complete, assembled state through the tight space of the refinery. To enable this approach, Essar and Foster Wheeler had designed a support interface with the site’s underground infrastructure so the skid system could be built over the pipe rack safely. Meanwhile, the PTC ring crane, which was delivered to Stanlow in no fewer than 120 containers, had been assembled in its designated area. On 12 October 2013, the turnaround sequence began, right on schedule. After the top part (including the ‘telephone piece’) of the regenerator shell was removed, the old regenerator head was removed and placed in the designated head frame. The new regenerator head, including cyclones and
dip-legs, was skidded towards the crane and then lifted into the shell, after which the top part was replaced. The whole job, with its countless complexities and meticulous attention to detail, was done within the 30 days that Essar had required. After the job was finished, Mammoet took part in a lessons-learned session with all the other contractors involved. Paul Nixon was there with other members of the Mammoet team. The aim was to determine if improvements could be made that would help with future projects. “After all of the engineering and planning undertaken to meet the various challenges, we were very pleased to hear Essar say “Mammoet was the right contractor for this project”, says Paul. “This project collaboration has deepened the relationship with Essar, and indeed we are now executing other significant projects at Stanlow. For example, we are using a gantry system to support a furnace that needs refurbishing. That project is going very smoothly. But smooth sailing or not, it is the commitment to getting the job done safely and on time that is key in helping Mammoet customers successfully.” n
Partners with the right expertise Mammoet World spoke with Allan James, Senior Project Manager, and Paul Cook, Construction Manager, at Essar oil UK, to learn about their experiences with this project. What, for you, was the biggest challenge you faced in the turnaround as a whole? Allan: “It was working in a live environment. We recognized from the start that safety was paramount, and we were delighted that the entire project was finished with zero incidents and zero injuries. It made our lives easier knowing we were working with a partner we could trust to work safely, especially when both time and space were so limited.” There were a lot of different teams working at the same time on this outsize project. How did that work out? Allan: “We first started looking at this turnaround in 2009, and well before the new head had even arrived in the UK a lot of preparatory studies needed to be carried out. For example, Mammoet did a transport study, and a feasibility study on what kind of crane would be best to do the six major lifts. Of course coordination of all this preparatory work is key, and Mammoet did everything that was expected of it on the score. But the other thing we needed here was continuity. Continuity matters. For this job, there
was the lead-up to the turnaround and the job itself. On Mammoet’s side there were one or two changes onsite, most notably when they brought in a new project manager, Anja den Braber, as the initial project manager Paul Nixon was needed elsewhere at Mammoet. Bringing in someone new at that point raised some small concerns initially, but Anja quickly put those to rest, fitting in and getting down to brass tacks-she turned out to be a success factor. And I have to say that that’s true of the whole Mammoet team.” Paul: “On a job like this, you don’t just want the team there for the major parts-the transport, the major lifts, and so on. There were 120 containers needed for the PTC, and it was a big job putting it up. That means it was also going to be a big job taking it down again, still in a live environment. Another outfit might have switched out key members of its team once the biggest operations had been carried out. But Mammoet stayed with us, with the same core team, until the job was not just done, but done and dusted. And we certainly appreciated that.”
What did you take away from the lessons learned session? Allan: “There are always lessons to be learned, but then again there will always be unexpected obstacles as well. Mammoet itself had had to deal at the last minute with changes to some of the specifications for the road transport from Port Ellesmere to the site-and yet they were able to do the transport on the day we had picked a full two years beforehand.” Paul: “And that’s one reason why, when a furnace went out of commission during this project, we were pleased to ask Mammoet to do the lift that was needed to make the repairs.” Allan: “That’s a third thing you look for in a contractor: not just reliability, but flexibility-the ability to roll with the punches, so to speak. The Mammoet team did that. We picked the turnaround date four years in advance, and the transport date two years before delivery. Mammoet made both deadlines without any delays. Having a reliable partner with the right expertise is paramount, and we have already contracted Mammoet again since the turnaround.”
Issue 13 | 2014
Michel Bos (Global SPMT Specialist)
Issue 13 | 2014
Self Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT) is a highly complex piece of heavy-duty machinery. It’s a work horse, and work horses need time and attention to perform properly and safely. Looking after Mammoet’s enormous fleet takes more than an oil can and a spanner. You need someone with expertise, drive and passion. You need someone like Michel Bos; Mammoet’s Mr Fixit. Michel Bos is Mammoet’s global SPMT specialist. He knows everything there is to know about SPMTs, down to every nut and bolt. Proudly, he tells about the development of the SPMT: “The very first SPMT was designed by our people, who saw the need for a self-propelled transporter.
They approached manufacturer Scheuerle in Germany and we co-developed it. The first one was delivered in 1984. The average lifespan of a SPMT is 30 years and we recently gave the very first one back to Scheuerle to display in their showroom.” A SPMT combination consists of two units; a trailer unit and a power pack unit (PPU). The power pack unit powers the machine and is usually mounted at the rear. A trailer unit comprises 4, 5, 6 or 8 axle lines. The units can be joined together in a variety of configurations. Like a giant Meccano system, everything fits together. All wheels steer through 360 degrees, enabling the vehicle to drive forwards, backwards, sideways, diagonally, through a radius and even carrousel. All functions are operated and controlled by a single operator, working from one central panel, irrespective of the number of
Issue 13 | 2014
axle lines involved. The loading surface can be adjusted from 1200 to 1800 millimeters height, so that the load can be lifted and set down onto the supports without the use of auxiliary equipment. Moreover, the hydraulic suspension system compensates for tilted road surfaces, allowing the load to be kept level under all circumstances. It also allows the wheels to adjust themselves automatically to any bump in the road surface. All maneuvers can be carried out under full payload, with absolute precision. Accurate positioning is the system’s hallmark. SPMTs are used in many sectors worldwide to transport big objects like bridge sections, oil refinery equipment and other loads too heavy for trucks. A heavy-duty machine requires a lot of specialist maintenance, which is where Michel comes in. But it does not stop there; as SPMT specialist, Michel Bos is also the perfect intermediate between Mammoet and SPMT manufacturer Scheuerle. Growing up together
As a boy, Michel was fascinated by anything mechanical or electronic. His dream was to fly fighter jets, but he wound up at technical college studying mechanical engineering. Eager to get his hands dirty and too impatient for university, at 22, Michel started working for the maintenance department at Mammoet’s predecessor, Van Seumeren: “I had to roll up my sleeves straight away. On my first day they sent me out to pick up a huge crane and drive it into the hall. That was pretty cool!” Michel never looked back and he and the company have grown up together.
Issue 13 | 2014
“Sometimes my wife complains that I pay more attention to my SPMTs than my kids!”
“Things have exploded since I joined in 1995. The maintenance department back then consisted of 6 or 7 people, but now we have 40 people for Europe and 80 for Canada alone. At that time we had 176 axle lines of SPMT, now we have more than 3,000 axle lines and 165 PPUs globally, and even more on order. Keeping busy
When Michel started in his current position in 2009, he set about reorganizing the maintenance process: “We used to just do repairs, but I thought it made more sense to do preventive maintenance so I convinced the management to buy more SPMTs so that we could rotate them and do regular maintenance. This means they break down less often on the job, which saves time and money. I developed the whole inspection schedule, which is now used at all our maintenance sites throughout the world. Inspections and routine repairs usually take about a week for one mechanic, but we can do it quicker if necessary.” Michel is no longer as hands-on as he used to be: “My mornings are spent answering queries and requests from all over the world. If there’s a
problem, I’m the guy they go to. My afternoons are usually spent coordinating with Scheuerle about the delivery of new machines and developing the next generation. We’re trying to develop a more sustainable, hybrid model at present.” Michel also travels around the world four or five times a year giving special 10-day SPMT maintenance courses, which he developed himself. “I love giving training courses. It costs a lot of energy, but it’s always a good feeling to be able help people with their questions and problems. And it’s gratifying to see people put what I teach into practice.”
SPMT facts SPMT Power Pack Unit Own weight 7 tons. Engine Mercedes V8 16 liter. Available power 475 hp / 2300 Nm. Maximum connectable 40 axle lines with 26 drive axles. Drive pumps 600 l/min, maximum 400 bar. Steer pump 360 l/min, maximum 360 bar. Operational temperatures on SPMT eq. –20 to +40° C. With additional arctic or desert pack –40 to +50° C. Total 3,000+ axle lines, 165+ PPUs.
SPMT No. of axle lines 4 / 5 / 6 / 8. Own weight (tons) 16 / 20 / 24 / 32. Maximum weight including load (tons) 160 / 200 / 240 / 320. Dimensions (l x w x h [meters]) 4 axle lines: 5.6 x 2.43 x 1.15. 5 axle lines: 7 x 2.43 x 1.15. 6 axle lines: 8,4 x 2.43 x 1.15. 8 axle lines: 11.2 x 2.43 x 1.15. Tractive force 24 tons. Travel speed Max. 11.5 kilometer/h. Tires per axle line 4 pcs. Possible steering programs Normal, Diagonal, Circle, Front, Rear, Transversal.
When he’s not fielding questions from all over the world, giving courses and supervising his team, Michel is puttering away in his workshop designing and building test devices for SPMTs. “I like to keep busy,” he grins sheepishly with a gift for understatement. “It’s more than just work for me. I’m fascinated by anything to do with technology and I love solving problems. It’s great to hear my colleagues get enthusiastic about a device I came up with that they say they should’ve had a hundred years earlier.” Family man
Besides his demanding work, Michel has a wife and five children, who keep him busy at home. “Sometimes my wife complains that I pay more attention to my SPMTs than my kids!” he laughs and then quickly adds; “but that’s not true of course!” Besides his rich family life, Michel feels very much at home at Mammoet: “The company has grown enormously and I feel I have made a modest contribution to that growth, which makes me proud. It’s a place that encourages innovation and rewards initiative. We have the best equipment, the best training and the best people. I can’t imagine a better place to work.” n
4 + 6 axle line combination 5
1 Axle line (consists of two single
axles lined up in width of trailer). 2 Single axle. 3 1.4 meters axle line distance.
4 Remote control (cable or wireless). 5 Power Pack Unit (PPU). 6 4 line SPMT. 7 6 line SPMT.
Technical payload capacity of this combination 350 ton. Dimensions (l x w x h) 20 x 2.43 x 1.2 (+ 0.6) meters.
Issue 13 | 2014
Written by Eric Funderburk and James Telfer of Industrial Info
THE WORLD AT A GLANCE An insight in global market developments
NORTH AMERICA NATURAL GAS DRIVING INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT Gas benefits multiple industries Increased production of natural gas from new drilling methods and hydraulic fracturing is perhaps the most important driver of industrial project activity in North America. Apart from the massive multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facilities that bring the most attention, the abundant and inexpensive gas is driving activity in other industrial sectors, particularly the power and petrochemicals industries.
Emissions rules As in most other developed economies, the United States and Canada are implementing increasingly strict emissions regulations, placing increasing burdens on coal-fired power plants. Owners are faced with the choice of either installing expensive emissions-control technologies or retiring these assets. To fill the gap caused by these retirements, utilities and independent power producers are
Issue 13 | 2014
increasingly constructing natural gas-fired power plants, which cost significantly less than the equivalent generating capacity for coal-fired or nuclear plants and have much lower emissions. Currently, capital projects valued at more than $14 billion are under construction at natural gas-fired power plants in the U.S. and Canada, with several times this amount on the planning table that are set to begin construction within the next five years.
Escalating petrochemical activity The new North American gas market has also caused rapid growth in the activity in the petrochemicals sector as companies race to
take advantage of inexpensive natural gas feedstock. This is perhaps most noticeable in the ethylene sector, which will experience billions of dollars of project activity in the next five years, dramatically increasing U.S. ethylene production capacity. Other petrochemical sectors that are experiencing growth that can be attributed to low-cost natural gas include methanol and fertilizer production. Many of the projects brought about by North Americaâ€™s newfound natural resource wealth are large in scope and remain in the planning or engineering stages, but the coming months and years will see the startup of these and other projects, bringing a strong wave of industrial construction.
The abundant and inexpensive gas is driving activity in other industrial sectors.
AFRICA A WEALTH OF UNTAPPED RESOURCES Uncertain local circumstances
Metals and mining stimulate development
The Oil & Gas and Mining sectors are the largest areas of potential investment in natural resources in Africa. However, increasing political instability and growing resource nationalism are causing the world’s major players to reconsider billions of dollars of planned investments.
The metals and mining sector is expected to continue driving industrial development in subSaharan Africa. A glance over a list of metals and minerals mining projects in Africa is extremely eclectic. Projects involve mining of gold, potash, diamonds, coal, uranium, mineral sands and more, and are being developed by companies from every continent, often multinational firms that are frequently in partnership with one another.
Several oil companies have decided that “enough is enough” and have unloaded assets in problem areas. While there are exceptions-most notably large investments from China-very cautious buyers and demand for local ownership are often causing oil and gas projects and assets to be placed into the hands of regional and smaller market players.
erals continue to feed economic growth throughout the world. Major opportunities for investors and developers also exist in Africa’s infrastructure, energy, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. An abundance of natural resources exists on the continent, and the workforce has been proven to have talent and potential. Ultimately, developers are realizing that treating the local workforce well and investing in local communities provides the most stable means of continued operations and long-term growth.
Resource nationalism and community growth African nations are certainly not passive observers in the development of these projects. Countries such as Guinea, South Africa, Zambia and others are demanding ownership and a share of the vast profits as African metals and min-
A glance over mining projects in Africa is extremely eclectic.
ASIA DRIVING GLOBAL INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT Asia is hungry for power, and power generation projects dominate the continent. Many of Asia’s high-dollar “blockbuster” power projects are large-scale nuclear and hydropower construction. However, coal-fired project activity vastly outweighs other fuel sources, accounting for more than $1.2 trillion in planned construction. This is particularly prominent in India, where several coal-fired “ultra-mega power stations” are being developed. This situation provides a large market for coal-exporting countries such as Indonesia, Australia and others, encouraging continued
Asia is hungry for power.
coal production from these locations, even while global coal prices continue to decline.
LNG feeds East Asia’s strongest economies Project owners across the world are undertaking vast liquefied natural gas (LNG) production projects to feed the energy needs of East Asia’s strongest economies. The high gas prices commanded in Japan and South Korea are spurring development of LNG facilities in countries that are capable of supporting an export market.
players overestimating the region’s resource needs. Although Asia’s potential markets for coal and natural gas are very large, they are limited. The completion of many of India’s planned coal-fired power stations is years away, and a restart of some of Japan’s nuclear fleet could cause regional LNG demand to decline.
Diverse and Developing Fuel Markets While Asia’s economic growth is driving energy consumption and project development, there is perhaps some concern in global
Issue 13 | 2014
WORLDWIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS IN OIL AND GAS
Coal-fired power retired between 2012 and 2020.
NORTH-AMERICA Natural gas production increase.
natural gas production
infrastructure on ports
infrastructure on rails
infrastructure on roads
LNG from US to Japan and South Korea
SOUTH-AMERICA Development of infrastructure on roads, rails and ports.
Mining most important.
1 Natural gas production increase, derived by new drilling methods, fracking (LNG plants for future export). 2 More emission regulations. 3 60 gigawatts of coal-fired power retired between 2012â€“2020. 4 Replaced by natural gas-fired power. 5 Over $14 billion natural gas currently under construction in US and Canada and growing. 6 18 million tons per year ethylene production planned = increase 50% next 5 years. 7 Most of it concentrated around US Golf Coast.
1 Mining most important. Top three Brazil, Chile, Peru. 2 Largest mining activities are iron ore in Brazel and Copper in Chile, Argentina and Peru. 3 Development of infrastructure equally big. Roads, rail and ports. 4 Strong hydropower, more than 800 projects over $230 billion planned. Brazil in the lead.
1 Growth in renewable energy, both onshore and offshore wind. Offshore combined investment of more than $ 340 billion. 2 Growth in coal, new coal-fired plants under construction, due to low carbon emission prices. 3 Mothballing gas fired power plants. 4 ETS, the worldâ€™s largest carbon cap-and-trade program.
1 Oil, Gas and Mining largest potential investments. 2 Metals and mining grow in sub-saharan Africa. 3 Relies on investments, like China 4 Gold, potash, diamonds, gold, coal, uranium, mineral sands and more. 5 Infrastructural development needed.
Issue 13 | 2014
EUROPE Growth in renewable energy.
RUSSIA LNG liquefaction, export projects and natural gas bound for eastern markets.
Over 500 metals and mining projects.
Growth in coal.
Rise in Power Industry projects.
LNG from Russia to China
ASIA Coal biggest power source
MIDDLE EAST LNG from Middle East to Japan and South Korea
AFRICA Oil, Gas and Mining largest potential investments.
LNG from Indonesia to Japan and South Korea
Infrastructural development needed.
OCEANIA LNG from Australia to Japan and South Korea Mining growth, mainly in iron ore.
1 Oil and gas production increases particularly in Irak and Iran. 2 Rise in Power Industry projects.
1 LNG liquefaction, export projects and natural gas bound for eastern markets such as China. 2 Over 600 metals and mining projects valued at more than $130 billion developing stage.
1 Coal biggest power source, more than $1.2 trillion in planned construction. 2 Also nuclear and hydropower. 3 Coal from Indonesia and Australia to India as domestic production falls short. 4 LNG from US, Australia, Middle East, Indonesia to Japan and South Korea. 5 South Korea planned investments in coal-fired powerstation bigger than LNG or natural gas.
1 Mining growth, mainly in iron ore. 300 mines scheduled to start in 2014 to 2018. 2 Oil & Gas sector leading and still growing, but less than projected earlier. 3 Export natural gas to Asia. 4 By 2018 80% of natural gas production in Australia for export. 5 Prices continue to rise.
Issue 13 | 2014
MIDDLE EAST A CHANGING LANDSCAPE Rebuilding and modernizing
Developing and Diversifying
It should not be surprising that oil and gas production is an essential piece of industrial development in the Middle East. However, when broken down by country, most project development in this industry is planned for one country—Iraq. The country’s authorities have announced plans to triple oil production capacity to 9 million barrels per day by 2020. However, the country’s very limited access to the sea hinders export capabilities, and the tensions that exist between the central government and the Kurdistan region impose barriers to Iraq’s oil production growth.
Removing Iraq and Iran from the equation, Power Industry projects actually rise to the top of the region in terms of planned investment. Power consumption in the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) countries (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman) is increasing rapidly because of strong population growth and increased industrial development. As these countries attempt to interconnect their power grids and diversify their fuel mix, new power projects are contributing billions of dollars to planned project activity. Although Saudi Arabia continues to plan large fuel oil-fired power projects, the region is planning nuclear, solar and natural gas-fired power stations to help meet its growing needs.
Iran is next in line in terms of planned investment in oil and gas production, and the continued easing of sanctions will encourage development in this country.
EUROPE WORLD’S RENEWABLE ENERGY LEADER A second life for coal
Continued strength in wind
Europe has led the world in the development of renewable energy, driven by generous subsidies and strict environmental and emissions legislation on CO2-emitting power plants. Despite Europe’s drive toward renewable energy, coal has made an unlikely return to prominence.
Coal has Coal’s return has been boosted by the very low price of carbon in Europe, something the E.U. is working to fix by stabilising the Emission Trade System (ETS), the world’s largest carbon cap-and-trade program. Low carbon prices have allowed suppliers to burn more coal with few financial penalties.
Issue 13 | 2014
made an unlikely return to prominence.
It should be noted that in the future new coal-fired power plants will find it almost impossible to get funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB), which has adopted new guidelines to reinforce support for investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy grids. The construction of wind power facilities dominates the region’s renewable energy projects. Onshore projects account for the largest number of wind energy projects, but approximately 200 European offshore projects are in the planning, engineering or construction stage. Offshore wind represents a combined total investment value of more than $340 billion, making it one of the largest areas for investment in the power sector.
OCEANIA BRINGING BIG IDEAS INTO SHARPER FOCUS Minefield While industrial project activity remains robust in Australia, which is the key player in the Oceania region, the country provides a somewhat cautionary tale about industrial development. Australia’s mining sector experienced unprecedented growth in the first decade of this century, as miners poured billions of dollars into coal and iron ore projects. Many of these projects were based around very high, speculative prices in the Asian markets. As these prices have declined, miners have been forced to reduce spending to focus on the most economically viable projects. In recent years, a number of very large mining projects, most notably iron ore mines, have been placed on hold as companies evaluate market conditions. Even so, Australia remains one of the world’s most active countries for mining development with more than 300 major mines scheduled to begin operations from 2014 through 2018.
Soaring prices The Oil & Gas sector leads Australia in terms of project value, although these projects are also being reduced in size from what was initially envisioned. Asia’s high natural gas prices prompted the construction of major liquefied natural gas export projects along Australia’s northwest coast. As these projects competed against each other, labor wages and equipment prices increased dramatically. While construction of these projects remains active, many of these have been scaled down or their completion dates have been extended.
RUSSIA STRONG RESOURCE BASE, EYES TO THE EAST Natural gas and geopolitics Recent events have thrust Russia’s natural gas sector into the spotlight. Many of Russia’s largest planned industrial projects are for LNG liquefaction and export projects and natural gas pipelines. As most of these projects are for natural gas bound for eastern markets such as China, there will probably be little political hindrance in their development. As Europe seeks to wean itself from Russian natural gas, the recent gas supply agreement between Russia and China makes sound economic sense for both
Recent events have thrust Russia’s natural gas sector into the spotlight.
countries. While the $400 billion, 38 billion-cubic-meter-per-year deal is substantial, it represents less than 25% of the volume of gas delivered from Russia to Europe in 2013.
Solid metals and mining foundation Russia’s largest industry in terms of planned investment is the metals and mining sector. More than 600 metals and mining projects (including rail and port infrastructure projects) valued at more than $130 billion are in the planning, engineering or construction stages in the country. These projects include a broad range of resources including copper, gold, aluminum, potash and more, although a majority of the projects valued at $1 billion or more are for the mining and processing of coal.
SOUTH AMERICA STRENGTH IN HYDROPOWER AND MINING Mining brings infrastructure growth The mining industry remains a powerhouse in South America, with Brazil, Chile and Peru representing the top three spenders in the sector. The largest active mining projects are to produce iron ore in Brazil and copper in Chile, Argentina and Peru. The development of infrastructure to support these operations also is an important element in South
The mining industry remains a powerhouse in South America.
America’s industrial development, and miners are investing tens of billions of dollars on rail and port infrastructure to ensure that their products reach the market.
A flood of hydropower projects
With its strong, continuously growing economy, Brazil remains the key industrial player in South America, with almost $515 billion of active industrial projects, more than all other South American countries combined. n
Like other world regions, the Power Industry has the highest monetary amount of planned investments. South America’s hydropower sector is particularly strong, encompassing more than 800 projects valued at approximately $230 billion that are under construction or in the planning and engineering stages. Brazil leads the continent for hydropower development, and the top three planned hydro projects in the country have a combined generating capacity of more than 20.5 gigawatts.
Issue 13 | 2014
Issue 13 | 2014
THE MINE ON TIME
Three draglines, two continents, one objective Issue 13 | 2014
ine sites are often situated at remote locations. Getting a dragline there involves dealing with a variety of circumstances, such as negotiating gravel or sand roads, having to remove power lines or reinforcing the road
after heavy rainfall in the desert. The greatest challenge is timing; the dragline needs to be operational as soon as possible. State-of-the-art equipment, coupled with knowledge and experience, ensures the heavy equipment reaches its destination safely and on time.
Slashing travel time for El Segundo Mine, USA Peabody Energy needed to move their 3500-ton dragline over a distance of 22 miles (32 km) through the New Mexican desert to their El Segundo Mine. The dragline, the size of a ship on dry land, is designed to ‘walk’ by using shoes that lift and advance the machine, at a speed of onetenth of a mile per hour. However, using this method would require generators, and road and power line construction support 24 hours a day for at least a month. The better option was to load the dragline onto SPMTs and carry it
through the desert, reducing travel time with 60%, from over 30 to 12 days. The dragline was the first machine of that weight to be transported over such a long distance. This job required the removal of the bucket and walking shoes in order to load the dragline onto trailers for more feasible transport. A total of 150 lines of SPMTs were used, 5 trains wide by 30 long. The total weight of the transport was 4,400 ton.
The better option was to load the dragline onto SPMTs, reducing travel time
Preparing for the job, the crew faced some interesting situations, including a width restriction on the roadway due to an archaeological
excavation site of native American artifacts. Because of these width restrictions the SPMT train was longer than preferable, and a special support structure was designed to complete the job; we added a steel structure made of beams, each 3 ft tall, on top of each trailer to function as load spreader to ensure the load was divided evenly over the longer trailers.
A 7% incline was another factor to take into account. Extra pulling power was provided by placing scrapers in front of the transport. Unusual weather provided the final force to be reckoned with. It was outside the rain season in New Mexico, but during transport there were days when it rained heavily, causing the roadway to need reinforcement from steel plates. On other days snow made transport problematic. Despite these circumstances the task was completed safely and effectively. Brad Brown, Senior Vice President of Peabody Energy Southwest Operations, said: “Unique circumstances prevailed with our dragline move. Our technical team was innovative in working to find solutions that optimized our ability to move the dragline safely in an efficient and effective manner. Our personnel collaborated with Mammoet to devise step-by step procedures ensuring a successful result that was well executed and without incident.”
Peabody Energy dragline transport, El Sugundo Mine USA.
Issue 13 | 2014
Taking on two at a time in the Pilbara, Australia Late last November, Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) approached Mammoet with a request to transport a Liebherr R996, weighing over 650 tons, from FMG’s Christmas Creek mine to another mine it had recently opened, Solomon, 250 kilometers away. Two key constraints: don’t take the Liebherr apart, and do get the job done before the fastapproaching Christmas ban on heavy hauling.
FMG Dragline transport, Pilbara region, Australia.
Don’t take the Liebherr apart, and do get the job done before Christmas.
The equipment Mammoet settled on for the job was a double 24 Goldhofer with 6 block trucks, and then, for the last 6 kilometers, including a slope, a double 18 axle line self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT). Mammoet had just loaded that Liebherr when, in early December, it was approached by BHP Billiton Iron Ore with a request to move a similar digger, a Liebherr R996B – this time just 35 kilometers. And once again the job was urgent, with the Christmas break looming. As it happened, the weather was delaying the actual transport of FMG’s Liebherr. With just 10 days to go, it was decided to transport BHP Billiton’s Liebherr first, and then FMG’s.
36 axle lines – the SPMTs plus auxiliary equipment – were shifted 500 km to where the BHP Billiton Liebherr was, at Jimblebar. This time the route would take in two national-highway crossings, thus entailing night-time transport, as well as a high-voltage power line that would have to be moved out of the way and then put back. Once the digger was off-loaded at the destination, Whaleback, the SPMT would be taken back to FMG’s Solomon mine where it would haul the FMG Liebherr on the last, six-kilometer leg of its trip. Both FMG’s and BHP Billiton’s deadlines were met, getting the draglines to their respective mines in time for Christmas. n
Issue 13 | 2014
4 5 8 6
Jack-Up System JS2400
1 Skid track. 2 Hydraulic skid shoe.
3 2 x ‘full’ cans, exact height of a container.
4 Jack frame. 5 4 hydraulic operated locking pins. 6 Insert (‘half’can), height: 480 mm. 7 Bolt connections. 8 Typical jacking column (‘full’ can), height: 960 mm. 9 Power pack unit (PPU).
Issue 13 | 2014
TWENTY-EIGHT JACK-UPS, AND COUNTING
ast July, Mammoet jacked up its 28th topside. Since the first jack-up, in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2004, Mammoet has been pushing the envelope in terms of both the tonnage
and height of the objects it elevates.
It all started ten years ago, when Mammoet devised a new approach to elevate a topside. “Our customer was building three decks in a row and came to us with a request for a system to elevate them, with some clearly defined requirements”, explains John Vermeeren, Director of Global Operations. “The decks needed to remain as light as possible, which meant there was no room for reinforcements and we could only use small assembly cranes during construction. Budget was strict; building the decks at height, on top of the support frames, would have been expensive, subject to safety risks and would have taken a long time. Crew would have had to climb up and down constantly and the deck would have needed reinforcements. We invented a solution that allowed our client to build the three topsides on the ground – one after the other – and elevate them only after they had been finished: the jack-up.”
Since then, various developments have been pushing the boundaries of Mammoet’s jack-up technology. Production platforms are getting larger, due to a combination of reasons, such as remote locations and increased difficulties of extraction that require larger and more sophisticated installations. Also, oil companies are looking for economies of scale. “Doing any kind of assembly offshore is expensive and complex”, explains Erik Kroes, Manager of Operations, Special Devices. “So the more assembly you can do on land, the better for your bottom line. Our jack-up technology helps make this possible.”
Necessity driving invention The necessity for elevating topsides is directly linked to the floatover method (see illustration on page 72). With topsides continually increasing in size and weight, the float-over has become more popular.
This method involves lifting the topside onto a support frame, subsequently on a barge and then moving it offshore to the jacket for installation. Roel Wesel, a Project Manager who oversaw a number of jack-ups, explains: “Jack-ups are constantly increasing in height. One of the leading factors is safety at sea: if a platform is going to be operating in rough seas, the higher up it is out of the water, the safer it is. The deck must always be above the expected maximum height of the waves. So you start with the required operating height of the platform, and then work backwards: the higher you want the platform to be above the water, the taller the jacket has to be. That in turn determines the height of the support frame, which gives you the height of the jack-up. Jack-up technology makes it possible to build the topside on the ground and saves crew from having to work at heights – which is a safer way of working and more efficient too. Only once the deck is finished, it is elevated to the required height. Consequently, while the floatover technique gained popularity, we stayed ahead by continuously
ON UP Issue 13 | 2014
improving our technique. We started with a jack-up using eight towers simultaneously, and we are now up to 22. As long as modules keep growing, we keep innovating our systems.“
That is for one tower. The more push-up towers you have, the more you can lift in this way. Three years ago, in Ulsan, South Korea, Mammoet used 15 towers to push the North Rankin B topside weighing over 23,000 tons to a height of over 26 meters. Mammoet got into the Guinness Book of Records, twice, with that one lift – once for height, and once for weight.
Jack-up technology: the basics The basic idea of jacking is to use hydraulic pressure to raise the object in small increments – 480 millimeters – in what is known as a stroke: the distance between the retracted and extended positions of a jack. After a stroke, you secure this gain in height with a section of thick steel tubing known as an intermediate half-can, then jack it up another 480 mm and place a one-meter ‘full’ can, and so on (see illustration).
some kind of sub-structure, and that would be quite costly. The jack-up system, by contrast, is relatively small. It can be assembled next to the deck and then skidded underneath. Then we connect to the deck, and we start jacking it up. The fact that we need no reinforcements is of vital importance.”
As long as modules keep growing, we keep
Hydraulics and electronics “The key to success is to be involved at an early stage”, says John Vermeeren. “The main thing is the weight you’re lifting, but then there are factors that have to figure into your calculations, such as wind speeds.” That mattered for the North Rankin B jack-up in Ulsan: Mammoet’s standard system is designed to withstand winds of up to 25 meters a second, but the jack-up date was
improving Erik Kroes explains further: “The jack-up introduces its forces into the pressure points at the bottom of the module – which are the same whether it’s sitting on the ground, or on the support frame, or on the jacket out at sea. If you wanted to use a gantry with a strand jack, for instance, then you would need support steel, or
Jack-Up stroke by stroke… 1
Hydraulic system pushes the jack frame (A) and jack column up a stroke (480 mm) and a ‘half’ can (B) is inserted.
4 hydraulic operated locking pins (C) are released.
The jack frame (A) is lowered and the locking pins (C) are reinserted.
… and its place in a float-over operation 1
Skidding jack-up system under the topside.
Jack-up: jacking topside up (A)..
After topside has been jacked up to the desired height (A) the support frame is skidded underneath (B).
Issue 13 | 2014
Load-out: skidding topside on support frame onto barge. Barge is counterbalanced with pumps to stay level with the quay.
close to the end of the typhoon season, so the customer asked that the capacity be raised to 30 meters a second.
the electronics. The electronics tell the valves to open or close. So our software requirements are precisely specified.”
And even with the enormous scale of these decks, precision down to the nearest millimeter is key. Roel: “If you have 10 towers, and one or more is higher than the others, then they are attracting more weight, just like the longer legs on a wobbly table. So the teams use sensors to keep them at the same height.
“We started with 12 meters in 2004”, says John, “and by the time of the twenty-fifth jack-up, we had already reached 25 meters – and we’re still counting. Erik adds: “In theory there is no limit in terms of the heights and weights the system can manage. In practice, further development and up scaling of the system will be defined by our customers’ needs.”
Everything is integrated with specialized software. Indeed, without the coordinating software, you have no system. Roel: “The steel structure works only because it is moved by hydraulics. But the hydraulics work only because of
Mammoet is currently developing a new system, based on the proven components and techniques of our present system. The new system will have a maximum capacity of 9,600 tons for each unit. It can be set up with different units, which means the maximum capacity can be significantly increased. See also page 75.
Roel: “We’ve just done jack-up number 28, in Russia, and we’re pleased with how it went off. So now, it is ‘On to number 29.” n
Hydraulic system pushes the jack frame (A) and jack column up another stroke (480 mm) and the ‘half’ can (B) is replaced by a ‘full’ can (D).
4 hydraulic operated locking pins (C) are released.
Jack-Up System JS9600
The jack frame (A) is lowered and the locking pins (C) are reinserted. Ready for the next stroke (beginning at 1).
Float-over: sailing barge with topside on support frame to offshore location and positioning barge between the jacket legs (C). Mating topside with the jacket by submerging barge (D).
Topside installed. Sailing barge with support frame away.
Issue 13 | 2014
MAKING IT HAPPEN To ensure the availability of the equipment best suited for the job, Mammoet keeps investing in the largest and most modern fleet of equipment in the world. Our equipment is subject to strict maintenance programs for maximum safety and reliability. After all, when our customers choose Mammoet, we want them to be sure of one thing: that Mammoet professionals and their equipment get the job done well, safely and on time. These are four of Mammoet’s most recent innovations.
UPGRADE OF CRANES IN 5,000 TONS CLASS
1. PTC in upgraded SSL-X configuration.
Global trends in construction are directed towards larger scales, calling for ever larger equipment that is fit for heavier duties. Foreseeing the upcoming need for 5,000 ton cranes, Mammoet introduced its three PTC 200 DS cranes in this class in 2011. At the time it was a global novelty,
Issue 13 | 2014
2. SWSL configuration – the capacity to lift 2,050 tons with a luffing jib, allows the crane to lift loads in harder to reach locations. meant to further help our clients build heavier structures and accelerate construction processes significantly, thanks to the crane’s reach, maneuverability and capacity. Current market developments have led Mammoet to introduce a
new design masthead and hook block, with increased reeving, both for the main boom and luffing jib. These new designs will boost the maximum lifting capacity of the crane, which enables Mammoet to help its clients lift heavier structures.
JS9600 Jack-Up System The innovative JS9600 jack-up system is able to jack up heavier objects and raise them to a higher level than the JS2400 jack-up system. A single tower can jack up to a maximum of 9,600 tons. Read more on the Mammoet jack-up system on page 70.
Mammoet Salvage Chain Puller The new Mammoet Salvage Chain Puller can be used to pull stranded ships off the beach or to roll capsized ships into the upright position for refloating. The new and improved 300 ton chain puller is faster in two ways: first, the conventional chain puller requires the chain to be pulled through the machine, from front to back, until the desired chain length at the
front has been reached. With the new chain puller this is not necessary, as the chain can be positioned and inserted at the exact required length from the top. Second, the chain can be pulled at a faster pace as the frequency of the pulling strokes is higher than with the conventional chain puller.
MTC-15 The Mammoet Terminal Crane MTC-15 can turn any port into a heavy lift terminal. It has a low ground bearing pressure and can be installed within 7 to 10 days at any port, without the need for infrastructural improvements. It can lift up to 600 tons â€“ read more on page 36.
Issue 13 | 2014
A WALK ON THE HIGH SIDE
Issue 13 | 2014
Issue 13 | 2014
Alberta’s Jasper National Park.
he Canadian Rockies are home to many wonders. However, Alberta’s Jasper National Park has a new sight, which will make you do a double take. High up on Tangle Ridge, it juts out over the valley as if an alien spacecraft has crashed into the mountainside with its observation deck dangling over the precipice. It’s not a hoax. It’s a heart-stopping reality called the Glacier Skywalk.
Imagine yourself seemingly suspended 280 meters in mid-air. The bracing wind stirs your hair as you look down at the deep valley far below. Your cheeks are flushed with excitement and your stomach lunges. The blood thumps in your ears, keeping pace with your racing heart as your heightened senses take in the dizzying view. The
Issue 13 | 2014
magnificence of the surrounding mountains fills you with awe. That’s what it’s like on the Discovery Vista’s glassfloored observation deck that offers a spectacular 180° unobstructed view of Sunwapta Canyon. The platform allows visitors to walk out into space and look down into the deep valley. You need nerves of steel to venture out, but it’s worth it because the panorama that unfolds under your feet is sensational. The walkway was commissioned by Brewster Travel, one of Canada’s leading tourist organizations. The company has been organizing tours for more than 120 years. Back then, the Brewster
High Expectations The steel superstructure of the Glacier Skywalk, which is fully integrated with the natural environment, is 30 meters long and weighs 22.6 metric tons. Lifting the walkway was a crowning achievement and maneuvering it into place was no easy task because it required a long reach (43m), but the Mammoet team pulled it off, using a crawler crane.
brothers only had horse drawn carts, but now the company has a vast organization catering to millions of tourists. We talked to Interim President David McKenna about Brewster Travel Canada and the Glacier Skywalk. Can you tell us about Brewster Travel Canada?
“Brewster is a tour and travel company that provides a wide variety of services such as; packaged tours, sightseeing trips, hotels and major attractions in and around Jasper National Parks. We are a seasonal business so the number of employees fluctuates between about 500 people in winter and 900 during our summer peak. One of the things that really distinguishes us is that most of our people live and operate in the region. We are truly the local experts and real ambassadors of the Canadian Rockies. Some of our guides have been doing this for 20–25 years and they have fantastic stories to tell about the old days.” Talking of the old days, how did Brewster start out?
“We have a long and colorful history in the region. Our founders, Jimmy and Bill Brewster, were just two local kids back in the 1890s who used to deliver dairy to the Banff Springs Hotel. A hotel guest wanted to go fishing, but he didn’t have anyone to take him. The boys volunteered and that set them on their path to becoming tour operators. They trained with local First Nations guides and helped chart some of the first routes through the Jasper region, along with other colorful characters
The blood thumps in your ears, keeping pace with your racing heart as your heightened senses take in the dizzying view.
Wildlife Ron Woud (50) was the crane supervisor on the project, responsible for overseeing the work, consulting with the engineers, inspecting the work site, deciding on the best method and making sure the crew had the necessary equipment. The crane was transported from Alberta in 20 truckloads and erected in two days. Ron’s Canadian/ Dutch crew consisted of five people; himself, a crane operator, a support crane operator and two riggers. Ron talks about the operation: “The weather conditions and local wildlife complicated things. The project was originally planned for late 2012, but it was postponed until July 2013 because of wintery conditions and the mountain goats’ breeding season. During the operation, we had to be extra careful with the local wildlife. This slowed us down a bit because the transportation had to be carefully coordinated with the park warden. The trucks were not allowed to drive through the area before 9 am because of the wildlife and everything had to be cleared away by 6 pm.” A tight squeeze There were also other challenges: “Mammoet was the only one with a crane that had the right size and capacity to do this job. The crane was poised about one meter from the mountain edge on a two-lane road on a narrow rocky ledge. There wasn’t much room to maneuver because the crane had to fit into the designated area and still leave the north bound traffic open. It was a tight squeeze, but we managed. Our engineer, Raeleen Lischynski, had made all the necessary drawings and calculations to make sure the crane would fit.
moving it there with the crawler crane, however I had grave concerns about the road being uneven and about the unpredictable winds. Therefore, to ensure the safety of the structure, we transported it on a trailer. It was a narrow road, but a safer alternative to lifting and we got the structure there unscathed. Leaving a mark Despite the challenges involved, it was all in a day’s work for Ron, a seasoned professional with years of experience. He doesn’t faze easily, but there were some surprises even for him: “The park is swarming with mountain goats, but they didn’t seem bothered by us. They stood perched on the mountainside, looking at us inquisitively and chewing away. And there was even a black bear or two to greet us in the mornings as we headed to the site. I took my mountain bike with me and rode around a bit. In Jasper there are 300 elks, which was breathtaking.” The burly crane supervisor is a no-nonsense man of few words, but it was more than just a routine job for him: “We usually work at refineries and oil platforms, and it was nice to work on something that is beautiful and fits in with the scenery. I can imagine that the glass skywalk is pretty thrilling for visitors.” Ron looks back with a sense of contentment on the project: “It’s quite unique. I’m proud of the job and so is everyone else involved. It’s a permanent fixture that a lot of people are going to visit and enjoy. I’ve got two grown-up sons and they think what the old man did is pretty cool. I like the idea of them visiting it and even later with their own kids. I feel like I’ve left my mark.”
The powerful LR 1350–1 crawler crane.
Keeping the road open was tough: “It’s a popular tourist attraction and there was quite a bit of traffic. Only one lane was open so we had to direct traffic, ensuring the safety of the motorists and trying to avoid delays. There were one or two times we had to stop traffic for about half an hour, but that was all. We kept disruptions for the wildlife and tourists to a minimum.” Driving instead of crawling “Once the glass bottom for the skywalk was ready, we needed to move it from its manufacturing area to the skywalk construction area. Our client suggested
Issue 13 | 2014
like ‘Wild’ Bill Peyto and Jimmy Simpson. It’s exciting to know that’s part of our history.”
Skywalk module lifted into place.
How did the Glacier Skywalk come about?
“A few years back, the national park put together a working group to look at the overall guest experience. One of the things they identified was the growing need for a more high-quality interpretative experience. From that we worked closely with Parks Canada to develop the vision of providing visitors a way to experience the canyon from on high. First we thought of a suspension bridge, but that eventually evolved into the Glacier Skywalk. The overall guest experience has to be balanced between a sense of adventure, education and maintaining ecological integrity and we feel this is what we achieved with the Glacier Skywalk. When we unveiled the design in 2011, it won an award at the World Architecture Festival. The judges described it as “a simple, elegant yet highly emotional project.”
How important was safety?
“The region How did Mammoet get involved?
“First we enlisted the help of Sturgess Architecture and Read Jones Christofferson Engineering (RJC) and they proposed Mammoet. Once we looked into the company and saw their area of expertise, the sophistication of their equipment and their ability to perform in tough environments, there were really no other candidates in our mind. It was crucial to us that they had the proper equipment to be able to get to the remote site quickly and also capable of lifting the heavy tonnage involved.” What were the main challenges for you?
“We started this project wanting to provide a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the
Issue 13 | 2014
Columbia Icefield. The region is famous all over the world and we didn’t take the responsibility lightly. Developing a structure that would allow visitors to completely immerse themselves in the surrounding environment without endangering the local wildlife was an absolute priority. We challenged ourselves to do this properly, or not do it at all. The design and engineering of the project were key to this commitment. Mammoet fully understood our drive and dedication and signed on completely.”
is famous all
“Safety was paramount because the operation took place on a narrow road at extreme heights with traffic going by. Everything had to go absolutely perfect because there was no recovering from an accident. The engineering supervisors told me that they were very comfortable with not only Mammoet’s equipment, but also with the operators and the way they dealt with the tough situation. There is no doubt in my mind we could not have done it as quickly and safely with any other company. Everything went off almost exactly as planned.”
over the How do you look back on the whole operation?
world and we didn’t take the responsibility lightly.”
“I am incredibly proud of the teams that pulled together to make this project a success. Developing such a unique experience in a remote area was no small feat. What seemed a nearly impossible idea became a vision, and then a plan, and now a new way to connect visitors from all over the world with the immense powers of glaciology. We have high expectations about the number of visitors in the first year. We’re hoping to welcome some 250-thousand people and we can’t wait to open our doors!” n
THE BIGGEST THING WE MOVE IS TIME
We all come from the world of ‘big’. A world of big projects and big machines. A world in which it is Mammoet’s role to move objects – no matter their size – for customers in a range of heavy industries. We provide solutions for lifting, transporting, installing and decommissioning large and heavy structures. We could talk for hours about the equipment we use, and about how sophisticated and powerful it is. But all that power means nothing without a plan. In fact, we believe our business isn’t about size. It’s about: time. Uptime. Turnaround time. Time to market. To our customers, time is the currency that matters most. That’s why we strive to bring their deadlines forward. It’s an integrated, daily
effort shared by everyone at Mammoet. Having faced almost every conceivable challenge in over two hundred years, we have developed a way of working based on three pillars: innovative engineering, careful planning and, above all else, safe delivery. Sometimes, by deploying our expertise in the design stage, we can even help our clients to optimize their project as a whole. That’s how we move time for our customers. So time isn’t set in concrete. Or forged in steel. It’s not even all that heavy. And yet, it’s the biggest thing we can move for you.
Discover more on mammoet.com
Discover more on mammoet.com
Mammoet helps clients improve construction efficiency and optimize the uptime of plants and installations. For that purpose, we provide solu...
Published on Sep 1, 2014
Mammoet helps clients improve construction efficiency and optimize the uptime of plants and installations. For that purpose, we provide solu...