Automated Pumping System Pours 50,000 Cubic Meters Non-Stop in 35 Days
Pumpcrete, Toronto, Canada is pumping a concrete Gravity Base Structure (GBS) that will eventually provide the foundation for an oil well platform in the Atlantic Ocean. Pumpcrete’s expertise on engineered projects made them a natural choice for this project. “We were specifically requested by one of the contractors who had worked with us in the past, “ according to Dave Moriarty, Pumpcrete’s pump manager. The GBS under construction has required massive amounts of pumped concrete with distribution choreographed by an automated system designed by Pumpcrete. “When you take on projects like these you want to have reliable equipment,” Ken Williams Jr. Pumpcrete’s president noted.
Located in the Atlantic coastal area of Newfoundland and Labrador the initial fabrication site is adjacent to a man-made earthen barrier that was removed to flood the construction site and float the gigantic structure into deep water. Pumpcrete designed an innovative pumping and placing system around Schwing equipment that has kept the project on schedule with very little maintenance.
The 130-meter diameter base was constructed in May 2013 using two Schwing S 61 SX concrete pumps and two Schwing free-standing 35-meter separate placing booms fed by four SP 4800 stationary concrete pumps. Because the four Schwing SP 4800 stationary concrete pumps were located under the onsite batch plant 150-meters from the GBS, four 125-mm lines connected the stationary pumps to the placing equipment.
Today, the separate placing booms and stationary pumps continue to provide an important connection to the slip forming of the central shaft and seven cells that make up the GBS. The structure was recently towed to a deep water site where concrete batching and pumping continues from barges. As the forms rise, the 4-section booms accommodate the movement. Flexible hoses on the end of the booms plug into the pipeline that feeds seven hoppers located on the three-tiered slip form system. Pumpcrete recently finished a 50,000 cubic meter continuous pour that occurred over 35 days.
The GBS will eventually reach a height of 120-meters but the next phase of the slipforming will take place in deep water. The final concrete tally once the GBS is completed, with a slipformed shaft to support the topside structure, will be 132,000 cubic meters. The topside structure with offices, drilling equipment and accommodations for 200 workers is 158 x 64-meters and weighs 65,000 tons. Once the GBS is completed, the topside structure will be attached and the entire assembly will be towed to the Grand Banks 350-kilometers from shore where it will be sunk in 93-meters of water. Oil extraction is scheduled to begin in 2017.