Top 10 biggest construction projects completed in 2016

Construction Intelligence Center 22 Feb 2017 GLOBAL BUSINESS

1.    Barzan Gas Development – Qatar

The Barzan Gas project has been developed in the massive offshore North Field where the majority of Qatar’s natural gas, which accounts for 10% of the world's known gas reserves, is located. The project will play a vital role in meeting the rising domestic gas demand spurred on by the ongoing and future major infrastructure projects in the country.

The $10bn project, which included both onshore and offshore developments, has been delivered and will be operated by Rasgas, a Qatari joint stock company established by Qatar Petroleum (QP) and ExxonMobil Corporation (XOM).

In November 2011, construction works commenced. Hyundai Heavy Industries was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the offshore component, which included the installation of three offshore wellhead platforms, subsea pipelines and cables. The offshore development area is located at approximately 80km off the coast of Ras Laffan Industrial City in the Persian Gulf.

JGC Corporation was awarded the EPC contract for the onshore component, which included the construction of a gas processing unit, a sulphur recovery unit to remove impurities from the natural gas, and a natural gas liquids (NGL) recovery unit, which will produce methane, ethane, propane, butane and condensate.

The first phase of the project accommodates two processing trains that will produce around 1.4bn cubic feet (cb ft) per day of sales gas. This will increase RasGas' overall production capacity to 11bn cb ft per day, making it one of the largest single gas processors in the world. More trains are planned to be added in future phases to increase the production at Barzan to a whopping 6.2bn cb ft per day.

The project’s first phase was expected to be operational in November 2016, however, the Barzan’s start-up has been delayed due to a leak discovered in a gas pipeline.

2.    Roy Hill Iron Ore Development – Western Australia

Roy Hill is an iron ore mining, rail and port operation in West Australia’s Pilbara region developed by Roy Hill Holding Pty Ltd. Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd is the major shareholder of Roy Hill Holding Pty Ltd., with a 70% equity interest. The remaining 30% is divided between 3 companies, namely Marubeni Corporation (15%), POSCO (12.5%) and China Steel Corporation (2.5%).

The $10bn Roy Hill Iron Ore Development Project involved the development of a 55M t per annum (MTPA) mine and processing infrastructure, a 344km single line heavy haul railway and a purpose built, dedicated two berth port facility at Port Hedland for receiving, stockpiling, screening and exporting iron ore. The port stockyard has the capacity to store over 5M t of ore in twelve 230,000t live stockpiles, with space to store additional material as necessary.

In 2013, following an extensive tender process, Samsung C&T was awarded the EPC contract to build the mine, rail and port infrastructure for the Roy Hill project. A number of major contracts were awarded as part of this project.

Samsung C&T awarded a $1.47bn EPC contract to the Forge Group Ltd and Duro Felguera joint venture (JV) for the construction of the project’s processing facility. John Holland Pty Ltd was selected for a $257M contract to construct the 344km of heavy haulage railway track whilst NRW Holdings won a $620M rail earthworks contract.

BGC Contracting secured a US$420M contract to provide civil earthworks, concrete works and general infrastructure for the port component of the project. McConnell Dowell was awarded a $427M EPC contract for the Port Marine Works, and Brookfield Multiplex secured a $200M contract for the construction of the 2,000 dwelling accommodation village and a $70M contract to develop a non-processing infrastructure.

In Q1 2016, Roy Hill Holding Pty Ltd officially took over the mine, rail, and port operations from Samsung C&T. The company has already loaded multiple iron ore shipments to its key markets in Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. Roy Hill currently employs about 1300 workers and will increase its workforce with 500-600 mineworkers over the next 18 months as it ramps up production to 55M t a year.

3.    Sino Iron Ore Mine – Western Australia

The Sino Iron project is the largest magnetite mining and processing operation in Australia and it is located at 100km from Karratha at Cape Preston in Western Australia.

Owned by Hong Kong-based CITIC Limited, the project is one of China's largest investments in the resource sector. The project’s supply of iron ore will meet the growing demand from CITIC’s own steel plants and other steel producers in China.

This magnetite mine is a fully integrated mine with six production lines extracting 24M t of magnetite concentrate a year for processing and exporting. The project included the reconstruction of the Greenfield port, which has been left derelict in the last 40 years. It also involved the construction of a rail line, a 51 gigalitres desalination plant with a processing capacity of 14000 cb m of water per day, a 450 MW combined cycle gas-fired power station and a 30km slurry pipeline.

CITIC appointed a number of renowned contractors such as MCC, Ausenco, Monadelphous Group, and Catalpa for the project, which was announced in 2005. The environmental and geotechnical studies were carried out by Preston Consulting.

Construction on the project started in 2006. At peak construction, 4,000 people were employed in building the project.

Production of magnetite concentrate started in late 2012. Construction works on the fifth and sixth production line were completed in June 2016. Estimated to have cost about $9.4bn, the project is contributing significantly to the Western Australian economy — the project is expected to generate an estimated $75bn in direct revenue to the Australia economy, and $3,300M in royalties for Western Australia. There are more than 1000 permanent positions at the mine.

4.    Clair Ridge Oil Field Development – Shetland Islands

The Clair Ridge oil field was originally discovered in 1977. The field is located at 75km west of the Shetland Islands in an area of 220km2, and 140m under the sea. According to BP, it has already produced around 80M barrels of oil. The Clair Ridge Project extends the life of the field to 2050, enabling the extraction of an estimated 640M barrels of oil over a 40-year period. Partners in the project include the operator BP (27.62%), Britoil plc (acquired by BP) (0.98%), ConocoPhillips (24%), Chevron North Sea (19.42%), Enterprise Oil Limited (acquired by Shell) (18.68%), and Shell Clair UK (9.3%).

The $7bn project involved the construction of new production facilities. It included a drilling and production (DP) platform and the quarters and utilities (QU) platform. The development also included the drilling of 36 wells (26 producing wells and 10 water injectors) and other oil & gas infrastructure, the laying of oil and gas export pipeline and the installation of two bridge-linked platforms at a water depth of approximately 140m.

The produced oil will be exported to the Sullom Voe Terminal (SVT) via a new 6.5km-long pipeline connected to the existing Clair Phase 1 oil export pipeline, whereas the produced gas will be exported to the SVT via a new 14km-long pipeline connected to the west of the Shetland pipeline system.

The project was approved in 2011 by the UK government and in 2013 Kvaerner and Hyundai Heavy Industries started the construction of the QU Platform under a contract worth $620M. Heerema and Acteon installed the DP and QU steel jackets weighing 22,300t and 9,000t respectively. In 2015, Clair Ridge platform's topside modules were successfully installed. Subsea 7 was contracted to carry out the engineering, procurement, fabrication and installation of the export pipelines linking the platforms to the storage and redelivery facilities in the Shetland Islands.

Construction work was completed in June 2016. The project is expected to create 3,000 jobs in the oil and gas sector and bring in billions of pounds in tax revenues. At peak production the field is expected to have a capacity of up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day.

5.    Goliat Oil & Gas Field Development – Norway

The Goliat Oil & Gas field [pictured] is located in the Barents Sea, at 80km north of Hammerfest, Norway. The Goliat field development project, announced in 2000, aims to enhance oil production, gas processing and oil storage capacity. Eni Norge is the operator of the project with an ownership share of 65%, while Statoil has an ownership share of 35%. The cost of the development had originally been set at $5,060M, but the final cost has surpassed the $6bn mark.

The project involved the construction and installation of a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) oil field facility with an oil production capacity of 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) and an oil storage capacity of 180M barrels of oil. The production is being facilitated through a subsea system, which included the construction of 22 wells — 12 production wells, seven water injectors and three gas injectors. Goliat is powered from the shore via a subsea electric cable, and with the energy generated on-board the facility.

Sevan marine and Aker Engineering and Technology were appointed as the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contractors for the project, Aker Solutions was appointed as the EPC contractor for the subsea production system and Technip Norge was awarded a $205M EPC contract for the supply and installation of pipeline and subsea construction.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) was awarded an EPC contract worth $830M to build the Goliat FPSO platform, named Sevan 1000. The 64,000t structure was constructed in South Korea and is one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated floating cylindrical production and storage vessels. In 2015, the platform was completed and transported all the way to Norway by Dockwise. ABB Ltd was awarded a contract of $110M for the laying of the 105km-long cable, running from the Hammerfest substation to the Goliat FPSO.

Construction work on the project was completed in the first quarter of 2016 and production started on 12 March 2016.

6.    North-South Railway Line – Saudi Arabia

The north south railway (NSR) line is part of the Saudi rail improvement plan, which will add 3,900 km of track to the Saudi rail network.

The $6.6bn Saudi Railway Company (SAR) project consisted in the construction of a passenger and freight railway line. The 1,418km passenger line connects Riyadh with Al-Haditha (near the border with Jordan) and passes through Majma’a, Qassim, Hail, Al-Jawf and Al-Qurayyat. The second line is a 1,486km industrial line linking Al Jalamid (Phosphate mine) and AlBaithah (Bauxite mine) to the processing and export facilities in Ras AlKhair.

It also involved the construction of six new stations, mosques, a headquarters building in Al-Riyadh, 148 bridges, depots, stations and administrative facilities, the installation of signalling systems, ticketing systems, communications systems and security systems, and the laying of rail tracks.

The project is divided into four sections. The CTW100 section (570km) starts in AlBaithah (Bauxite mine) and ends at Ras Alkhair, and was awarded to Saudi Binladin Group and Mohammed Al-Swailem Co. The CTW200 section (440km) starts in AlBaithah (Bauxite mine) and ends at the middle of AlNafoud, and was awarded to China Railway 18th Bureau and Al Suwaiket Co.

The CTW300 section (750km), awarded to a consortium of Barclay Mowlem of Australia, Mitsui and Al Rashed, starts in the middle of AlNafoud and ends in three cities: Al Jalamid (Phosphate mine), Al Haditha, and Al Besaitaa. The CTW400 section (500Km) starts in the Al Baithah junction and ends in Riyadh at King Khaled International Airport. This section was awarded to a consortium of Al Ayuni Trading and Contracting Company, Al Abdulaziz Al Omer Establishment for Trading and Contracting and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.

The industrial line is particularly significant as it will enable Saudi Arabia to become the second largest exporter of minerals in the world. The industrial route travels at a speed of 80km/h when loaded and 100km/h when empty. The project has a transportation capacity of 4M t of commodities annually. Trains from Riyadh to Al Haditha travel at 160km/h and are expected to transport 2M passengers annually. Construction works were completed and a test run was conducted on the line in November 2016.

7.    Panama Canal Expansion – Panama

The Panama Canal Expansion project expanded the capacity of the Panama Canal and created a third lane of traffic by constructing a new set of locks — this is expected to double the canal's capacity and allow more traffic flow.

Panama Canal Authority (ACP), an autonomous agency of the Government of Panama, which is tasked with managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal, undertook the project. The project is a public and private venture costing a total of $5.5bn.

The project included the building of two new locks on the Pacific (Cocolio Locks) and Atlantic (Agua Clara Locks) sides, and a new 6.1Km pacific access channel. It also included the deepening of the Pacific and Atlantic Canal entrances, the widening and deepening of the Gatun Lake navigational channel, the deepening of the Culebra Cut and raising of the maximum operational level of the Gatun Lake.

Each of the two new lock complexes built features three chambers, nine water-saving basins, a lateral filling and emptying system and rolling gates. These innovative locks have large chambers (427m in length and 55m in width) and are able of accommodating vessels up to 49m wide, 366m long and 15m deep. The large water-saving basins use state-of-the-art technology to allow the canal to reuse 60% of the water used per transit thus protecting the fresh water of the Lake Gatun. The locks’ hydraulic system with slide lock heads allow faster ship transit.

A $3.2bn contract, for designing and building the new set of locks, was awarded to the Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPCSA) consortium. The consortium was formed by Sacyr Vallehermoso from Spain, Impregilo from Italy, Jan de Nul from Belgium and Constructora Urbana from Panama. 

Other major contractors involved in the project included Constructora Meco S A., Dredging International De Panamá S.a and FCC Construcción. The Panama Canal Expansion project, which started in 2010, was inaugurated in June 2016. The first ship to officially cross the canal after the expansion was the ‘Cosco Shipping Panamá’, of Chinese origin, with a load of 9,400 containers.

8.    Heidelberg Offshore Oil Field Development – Gulf of Mexico

The Heidelberg oil field, located in the Gulf of Mexico’s deepwater, was discovered in February 2009. In 2012, Initial FEED works for the Heidelberg field development project were carried out. The project was sanctioned in 2013.

The $5bn development included the construction of an offshore oilfield platform, a compressor unit, and storage tanks, the installation of umbilical and subsea structures and the laying of pipelines.

Anadarko is the main operator of the Heidelberg oil field with a 31.5% working interest in it. Other partners of the field development include Marubeni Oil and Gas (12.75%), Eni (12.5%), Apache Deepwater (12.5%), StatoilHydro (12%), ExxonMobil (9.375%) and Cobalt (9.375%).

Technip carried out the engineering, construction and transport of a 23,000t truss spar. The truss spar was used as the drilling and production platform at Heidelberg. The cylindrical and partially submerged spar platform was chosen for its suitability in deepwater oil and gas operation. The design strengths of a spar include greater capacity to withstand hydrostatic pressure and support high-pressure risers, while offering stability in deepwater against topside buoyancy, as well as natural forces such as typhoons or hurricanes. The fabrication of the hull and topside for the Heidelberg spar facility was completed in 2015.

The Heidelberg crude output is conveyed to an existing third party via a 20in diameter and 55km-long pipeline built, owned and operated by Enbridge. Subsea 7 was contracted to install the subsea infrastructure tying the trees back to the spar as well as the export flowlines. The scope of the work included the engineering, fabrication, and installation of risers, pipelines, and flowlines in water depths over 1,600m.

The design capacity of the Heidelberg spar is 80,000 barrels of oil and 2.3M m3 of natural gas a day. The oil field commenced production in January 2016, ahead of schedule.

9.    Hongsa Mine Mouth Development – Laos

In 2009, based on the Framework Agreement on Energy Cooperation between Thailand and Laos, the Hongsa Power Company (HPC) was formed by Banpu Power Limited (BPP), Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company Limited (RATCH), and Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE). HPC’s mission is to develop and operate the 1,878 MW lignite mine mouth power plant, commonly called the ‘Hongsa Power Plant’, which is expected to provide a sustainable source of energy to Laos and Thailand.

The $5bn power plant was developed on a 76,400m2 of land located in Hongsa and Muang Nguen Districts of Xayaboury Province, Lao PDR. It is the first and biggest lignite-fired power plant as well as Lao PDR’s highest capacity power plant. The Lao government has granted a 25year-concession to Hongsa Power Company for electricity generation from 2016 to 2041.

A consortium of China National Electric Equipment Corporation, Harbin Power Engineering, Harbin Boiler, Harbin Turbine, and Harbin Electric Machinery was awarded the EPC contract for the project.

The development included the construction of a lignite-fired power plant, an open pit lignite mine, a limestone mine, two dams and associated infrastructure facilities. The plant features three 626MW generating units and it is expected to use approximately 14.3M t of lignite per year to be sourced from the on-site lignite mine.

1,473MW of electricity is expected to be supplied to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), while about 100MW is set to be supplied to Electricité du Laos (EDL). A 67km-long, 500kV double-circuit overhead transmission line is used to transmit the power generated by the plant to Thailand, and a 115km-long, 115kV double-circuit overhead transmission line is used to supply power from the plant to the Lao grid.

Commercial operation of the plant’s first and second generating units began in June 2015 and November 2015 respectively, followed by the third and final generating unit in March 2016.

10.    Laggan and Tormore Gas Fields Development – Shetland Islands

The Laggan and Tormore Gas Fields Development involved the construction of two gas and condensate fields in the North Sea, at about 125km to the west of the Shetland Islands in the UK. The fields are owned by Total E&P UK (60%), SSE E&P UK (20%) and Dong E&P UK (20%). The project’s reserves are estimated at more than 1trillion cb ft of gas and condensates (about 230M barrels of oil equivalent).

Total developed a long tieback of subsea wells to a new onshore Shetland Gas Plant on the Shetland Islands (subsea to shore development). The use of subsea tiebacks rather than a conventional platform was deemed the best solution due to the region’s extreme environmental conditions such as strong winds, huge waves, very low temperatures, fast currents and significant water depths.

The development of the fields were estimated to cost around $3.8bn. The subsea infrastructure consists of two production systems with four wells, located at a depth of 600m, linked to the Shetland Gas Plant by two 143Km tieback flowlines. A 234km pipeline, called the Shetland Islands Regional Gas Export Pipeline (SIRGE), was also built to export the processed gas from the Shetland Gas Plant to the Frigg UK Pipeline, which is linked to St Fergus Gas Terminal in Scotland.

Amongst the companies involved in the offshore component of the project are FMC Technologies, Subsea 7 and Corus. For the construction of the Shetland Gas Plant, Total appointed Petrofac Ltd. The plant has a daily production capacity of 5bn cb m of gas — it can supply 8% of the UK’s energy needs.

Condensates extracted from the Laggan and Tormore fields are set to be exported via the Sullom Voe Terminal, one of the largest oil terminals in Europe, which lies right next to the Shetland Gas Plant (SGP).

Construction activities on the gas fields are now completed and production has begun in February 2016.

* For more information on the construction industry, visit the Construction Intelligence Center.


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