Adding capacity to the over-tasked wastewater system in Mexico City, an alignment through changing ground conditions is a likely candidate for Robbins’ Crossover TBM, Nicole Robinson reports.In the mountains northwest of Mexico City, the soft rock is self-supporting and very consolidated, a dream to mine. "Even the face is self-supporting," says Roberto Gonzalez, Robbins' general manager in Mexico. "You could use a normal backhoe and excavate like that. It's a beautiful ground to bore."But the alignment crosses valleys of tuff, faults and finishes with a stretch of soft ground with low cover. This is the scenario for Túnel Emisor Poniente II (TEP II), or the English translation of West Drainage Tunnel II.Conagua, Mexico's national water commission, is building the 5.9km-long tunnel with a 7m i.d. to reduce flooding in the area, and increase wastewater capacity. Across three municipalities, some 2.1 million people will benefit from the tunnel project.The contractor joint venture of Aldesa, Proacon and Recsa chose an 8.7m diameter, dual-mode type machine capable of "crossing over" between rock and EPB. With the August 2015 tunnel boring machine (TBM) launch on TEP II, manufacturer Robbins has supplied its first Crossover machine in Mexico.End gameRobbins draws comparisons to the Kargi Kizilirmak hydroelectric project in Central Turkey. The design of the TEP II machine was based largely on experience from past projects, and that TBM in particular. While initial reports on the Turkey project showed fractured hard rock, Robbins explains, within 80m of launch the geology became substantially more difficult than expected, consisting of blocky rock, sand, clays and water-bearing zones. The machine required multiple bypass tunnels and major modifications before it could resume excavation.Robbins says these modifications proved instrumental to the design of its Crossover TBMs, including the TEP II machine.In Mexico, the contractor JV expects to convert the machine from hard rock to EPB mode due to changing ground conditions in the last kilometre of the alignment. "Initially the proposal was a hard rock machine but they found they have 800m of water-more EPM conditions-that's the reason we proposed a Crossover," explains Javier Alcala, job site engineer for Robbins on TEP II.The ground conditions at TEP II are complex, from competent to weathered volcanic rock to clay, and sand. The final 800m is also the portion of the alignment with the lowest cover, some 12m, and the most populated. This is one of the reasons for using a Crossover machine. The rest of the drive has between 50-60m of cover on average with some stretches up to 150m."We try not to convert unless it's completely necessary because you stop, you have to drain the screw conveyor inside the machine, and you have to make a lot of changes, for example on the cutterhead," Robbins' Gonzalez explains.As an open mode machine boring in rock, the TBM is equipped in the event of entering running ground, he says. "These closure doors are able to maintain the material in the cutting chamber. They're just a safety." In smaller valleys of tuff there is potentially some water, but it's unknown for now, he explains."For these cases we believe that these closure doors will be held to see what we have to do with the material, if we have to consolidate in the front."Tight fitAldesa's Castillo says one of the biggest accomplishments on the project so far has been organising the logistics in such a small work space-fewer than 10,000 sq m. The JV excavated a 30m deep launch shaft supported by 800mm-thick Milan walls (slurry walls), and used on-site first time assembly, he says, to start excavation as soon as possible.Once assembled by gantry crane, the machine bored 100m before adding back gantries. When completely assembled the machine has nine gantries for a total length of 1,030m.At the time Tunnels & Tunnelling visited the project, the crews were still adjusting to having the full machine in operation, and had only recently started using the continuous conveyors for muck.The TBM was mining through a transition zone between tuffs and dacites, and had excavated 435m by mid November 2015. At the time of publication the TBM has bored 1,417.5m, which equates to 945 rings. The best day has seen an advancement of 42.8m and the best week is 185.1m. Robbins' Mexico office reports the TBM has reached softer geology and is boring very well.Tunnelling is expected to finish within this year and a second lining of reinforced concrete will be installed following excavation to extend the life of the tunnel. "Once we arrive to the final bit, it's a very close curve of 400m radius," Alcala explains.The tunnel alignment ends along the rivers of San Javier and Xochimanga in Atizapan de Zaragoza.
With a burgeoning market for hydropower development, tunnelling work is seeing an uptick in South America’s third largest country. Nicole Robinson looks at two recent projects.The World Bank released a report in 2010 to help the Peruvian government in assessing the potential role of hydropower in the energy sector and the measures that could be taken to encourage its continued development as appropriate. Hydropower has been the major source of electricity in Peru, traditionally supplying more than 80% of requirements, and serving as a source of independent generation for major mines and industries.However, as the report explains, in the early 1990s efforts turned to natural gas and the government began providing incentives for its use in power generation: "This resulted in a virtual moratorium on hydropower development as a result of the very low price of natural gas (below economic cost)."Over the next decade, with the development of export markets for gas and increased attention to the impacts of climate change, the Government returned its attention to hydropower. The Peruvian government completed its National Energy Plan 2014-2025, which calls for electricity to comprise 60% renewable sources by 2025, with 54% coming from hydropower.The International Hydropower Association called Peru a regional leader in small hydropower projects. In its 2015 Hydropower Status report it estimates Peru has hydropower potential of at least 70GW, "of which only 3.8GW have been tapped so far."In 2014 Peru added 199MW, ranking it among the top 20 countries installing capacity at number 17 —Canada comes in at number three and the US at number 16.The market potential for hydro construction in Peru has captivated the likes of Odebrecht, whose subsidiary Empresa de Generación Huallaga (EGH) is developing the 462MW Chaglla power plant, which will be country's third biggest hydropower project upon opening, scheduled for this year.Norwegian company Statkraft opened its ninth hydropower plant in Peru, the Cheves Hydropower Project, this autumn. "The opening of Cheves consolidates Statkraft's position among the largest power producers in Peru," says Statkraft's executive vice president of International Hydropower, Asbjørn Grundt. "It also underlines our ambition to further strengthen our position as a leading international provider of pure energy. Our efforts in South-America play a very important role in this strategy,"Chaglla’s bypassLocated between the districts of Chaglla and Chinchao, some 420m from Lima, the Chaglla Hydroelectric Power Plant has 406MW of installed capacity. The plant is the result of an investment made by Odebrecht Energia of $1.bn, with support from the Brazilian Development Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank, among others.The project will also feature a small power house, including a power transformer with an output of 6MW. "Chaglla will be one of the largest hydroelectrical power plants in Peru and it will represent almost 8% of the current consumption of energy of this country," says Erlon Arfelli, manager of Odebrecht Energia in Peru.Construction started in May 2011, with Sandvik supplying six DT820-SC tunnelling jumbos for the excavation at Chaglla. Underground construction includes a spillway composed of three tunnels for a total length of 2,838m, 14.5m x 12.6m-high. The 14.7.km-long intake tunnel is horseshoe-shaped with a 7.6m diameter.One of the most important works in the project is bypassing the Huallaga River, which contractors performed through a trunk tunnel of 12.5m diameter, 1,125m long. Odebrecht says the work concluded nine months prior to the scheduled date. The bypass tunnel, a significant step for the project, allowing the dam to be constructed in the former riverbed.Odebrecht says EGH began filling the reservoir on September 1, 2015, and expects the process to last between 45 and 60 days. The project's lenders appointed Mott MacDonald in 2013 as independent engineer to monitor construction.
Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA) has begun construction on the 65MW Chisholm View II wind farm in Oklahoma, USA.Chisholm View II is an expansion of the existing 235MW Chisholm View wind farm. When completed, it will bring the site’s total installed capacity to 300MW.The $90M project, owned by EGPNA subsidiary Enel Kansas, will be able to generate over 240M kWh annually — the equivalent to the energy consumption needs of more than 19,000 US households. The power generated from the wind farm will be sold under a bundled, long-term power purchase agreement.The wind farm will eliminate more than 126,000t of CO2 emissions each year. EGPNA’s head Rafael Gonzalez said: "With the construction of Chisholm View II, EGPNA is further reinforcing its rapid growth strategy in the United States.“The new plant is part of our ongoing commitment to expand our operations in North America where we continue to reach new milestones, including a record 800 MW currently under construction.”The wind farm is expected to be operational by the end of 2016.
Jazan Gas Projects Company (JGPC) joint venture has started construction on a $2.1bn industrial gas complex in Saudi Arabia.The new facility will serve Saudi Aramco’s Jazan refinery and terminal. Upon completion, the complex will supply a total of 75,000t of industrial gas daily — comprising 20,000t of oxygen and 55,000t of nitrogen — to Saudi Aramco’s refinery for 20 years.The gas complex will feature six air separation trains and require 600MW of power to operate. JGPC’s chairman Mohammad Abunayyan said: "Since the contract was awarded, we are very proud to have demonstrated outstanding infrastructure financing which has enabled us to be well advanced with the build schedule."We have also recruited a highly skilled team to manage operations and underpin our values for exceptional quality and customer service."Construction on-site started a month earlier than planned, initial drawings have been issued and we have a clear plan of mobilisation to Jazan from this date."The facility will create about 100 direct local jobs once operational.
Singapore-based construction services provider Swiber Holdings has won three new contracts for projects with a combined value of $215M in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.The company secured an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract from a European oil major to replace pipeline in Qatar — marking the group’s first offshore construction project in the Middle East. The engineering phase of the project has already started and is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2017.Swiber Holdings, as part of a consortium, will carry out EPCI of two wellhead platforms, associated pipelines and tie-ins for a project off the coast of Myanmar for a major Southeast Asian oil and gas company. The project begins immediately and is expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2018. The customer has the option to award an additional two wellhead platforms.Under the third contract, the company will be responsible for the provision of transport and installation services for a full field development project in the waters off Vietnam. The firm has recently commenced the task, which is targeted for completion in the third quarter of 2016.
Construction has started on Scotland’s biggest waste water tunnel, using a tunnel boring machine named Daisy.The Shieldhall Tunnel will be constructed for Scottish Water by the Glasgow Tunnel Partnership, run by a commercial joint venture between Costain and Vinci Construction Grands Projets called CVJV.The £100M tunnel measures 5km in length and forms a key part of Scottish Water’s £250M five-year programme of work to enhance river water quality and the natural environment.The 1,000t TBM being used for the projects measures 180m in length and will commence construction on the tunnel between Craigton and Queen’s Park. The machine was named Daisy the Driller by Lewis Bennett of Craigton Primary School, through a competition run by Scottish Water. The TBM is expected to complete its journey and emerge at Queen’s Park after nearly 13 months, when the new tunnel will be connected to the existing network.The cabinet secretary for environment, climate change and land reform Roseanna Cunningham has launched the tunnel boring machine (TBM) for the project.Scottish Water CEO Douglas Millican said: “The Shieldhall Tunnel is the biggest of many projects which are progressing deep beneath the Greater Glasgow area’s streets largely out of sight of most people who live, work and travel here.“Much of the existing waste water infrastructure was built in Victorian times and the modernisation of the system and construction of new underground assets such as the Shieldhall Tunnel will enable Greater Glasgow to realise its above-ground aspirations.”The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.
L&T’s construction unit has won contracts worth a combined value of INR35.9bn ($534.1M) across various business lines.The company’s heavy civil infrastructure business, along with partner PES Engineers Private, has bagged an INR18.5bn ($274.4M) contract to build a barrage in Telangana, India.The scope of the contract, awarded by the Irrigation and Command Area Development Department of Telangana, includes construction of a 1632m-long barrage with radial gates.The scope of the contract also includes mechanical works related to the barrage radial gates with rope drum hoist arrangements, as well as construction of 2592m guide bunds on either side of the barrage across river Godavari at Medigadda, Mahadevapur in Karimnagar district, Telangana.L&T’s deputy managing director and president S.N. Subrahmanyan said: “It is noteworthy that the Government of Telangana has initiated work on the Medigadda Barrage Project in a very systematic and remarkable manner. “Christened a “Dream Project” of Telangana state, L&T is indeed proud to be part of this improvement plan to create irrigated agricultural production systems, which are vital for our country’s development.“This order reaffirms our expertise in building complex irrigation systems to empower the agrarian belts of the country.”L&T’s Water & Effluent Treatment Business has won an INR10.4bn ($154.8M) engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) contract from the Water Resources Department of Madhya Pradesh to build a balancing reservoir, distribution chamber and pumping station at Bansujara left bank’s main canal in Tikamgarh district, Madhya Pradesh.The contract includes design, procurement, construction and installation of pumping systems, rising and gravity main lines, branch lines, as well as distribution network including control and regulation system.The business has also bagged a contract from Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Gujarat, to build a 30 MLD Common Effluent Treatment Plant and associated pumping station at Danilimda, Ahmedabad. The plant will make use of sequential batch reactor technology.L&T’s Building & Factories Business has secured an INR3.94bn ($58.5M) contract for the construction of software development blocks. The scope of the work includes civil, structural, MEP and finishing works.L&T’s Power Transmission & Distribution Business has won EPC contracts valued at INR3.12bn ($46.3M) in the international market. This includes a contract from a Middle East customer to build two high-voltage substations. The business also won an order to build a medium voltage distribution substation and underground cabling works from Millennium Challenge Account in Malawi, Africa.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission has given the go-ahead to a $250M wind farm project in Hettinger and Stark Counties, North Dakota.The Brady II Wind Energy Center will have a capacity of about 150MW and will comprise up to 72 wind turbines that are expected to be located in Hettinger County. Underground electrical collection systems and cables are expected to be located in Stark County.The project will cover an area of about 17,762 acres in northern Hettinger County and nearly 2,554 acres in Stark County. Permanent structures are expected to cover an area of about 74 acres during operation.Commissioner Brian Kalk said: “Each wind project is unique in some way and the Commission continues to work through issues within our jurisdiction to find the best solution for each project and at the same time respecting the role of the counties in the process.“As wind projects continue to come before us, we are committed to continue working with the Association of Counties to plan ahead for all types of energy development.” The new facility will be located adjacent to the southern boundary of the 150MW first Brady Wind project that secured the Commission’s approval last month. It will feature up to 87 turbines in Stark County.
Italian company Saipem has secured EUR1.5bn in contracts and variation orders for engineering and construction (E&C) at offshore projects, including the field development project for the Zohr gas field. Saipem bagged an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract from Petrobel for the accelerated start-up of the Zohr gas field project off the Egyptian coast in the Mediterranean Sea. The scope of the work includes the installation of a 26-inch gas export trunkline as well as 14-inch and 8-inch service trunklines. The company will also carry out EPCI work for the field development in deep water — up to 1700m — of 6 wells as well as installation of the umbilical system. Petrobel, a joint venture between Eni and Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, is responsible for the development of the Zohr project on behalf of PetroShorouk — a joint venture between Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company and Eni.Saipem’s CEO Stefano Cao said: “We are very pleased to have been selected for the important objective of delivering first gas from Zohr before the end of 2017. “We will mobilize a fleet of vessels with last-generation capabilities, and leverage on our proven expertise and consolidated presence in the area, in order to ensure our clients achieve their targets.”Work on the project is expected to commence in July 2016 and be completed by the end of 2017.
American oil giant Chevron has given the go-ahead to the $36.8bn Tengiz oil field expansion project in Kazakhstan.The Future Growth and Wellhead Pressure Management Project ((FGP-WPMP) is expected to raise crude oil production at the Tengiz oil field — owned and operated by Tengizchevroil (TCO), which is an affiliate of Chevron — by about 260,000 barrels daily.$27.1bn of the project’s cost will be used for facilities, while $3.5bn will be used for wells and $6.2bn for contingency and escalation. The project will make use of advanced sour gas injection technology, which has been successfully developed and proven during TCO’s expansion in 2008. Chevron’s chairman and CEO John Watson said: "The Future Growth and Wellhead Pressure Management Project represents an excellent opportunity for the company. The project builds on a record of strong performance at Tengiz and will add value for Chevron and its stockholders." Chevron Upstream executive vice president Jay Johnson added: "This project builds on the successes of prior expansions at Tengiz and is ready to move forward. It has undergone extensive engineering and construction planning reviews and is well-timed to take advantage of lower costs of oil industry goods and services." First oil is expected to be delivered in 2022.
Aecon has won two energy contracts from Union Gas and Spectra Energy in Canada.A $250M contract has been awarded to Aecon by Union Gas Limited for work on its Dawn-Parkway expansion project in Ontario, Canada. The scope of the work includes the construction of natural gas compressor facilities at its Bright, Dawn and Lobo compressor station locations.Construction work has commenced and is expected to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2017.The second contract is a four-year Master Service Agreement (MSA) from Spectra Energy for pipelines facilities in Western Canada.The MSA contract involves construction work at Spectra’s compressor stations and related labour on pipeline facilities on the natural gas transmission system in British Columbia. Construction work is already underway.Aecon’s energy executive vice president Mark Scherer said: “Building partnerships and alliances forms the backbone of our business, and we look forward to working on these essential programs as we continue our strategic alliance with Union Gas and Spectra Energy in both Eastern and Western Canada.”
DONG Energy has been awarded the concession to build the Netherlands’ offshore wind farms Borssele 1 and 2 from Netherlands’ Minister of Economic Affairs.The wind farms will have a capacity of two times 350MW and will cover the annual power consumption of 1M Dutch households.The project will be located 22km from the coast of Zeeland province, with a water depth of 14-38m, and covering an area of 128.3sq km. DONG Energy’s wind power head and executive vice president Samuel Leupold said: “Winning this tender in a highly competitive field of bidders is another proof of our market-leading position and our business model which builds on continued innovation, industrialisation and scale. “With Borssele 1 and 2, we’re crossing the levelized cost of electricity mark of EUR 100 per MWh for the first time and are reaching a critical industry milestone more than three years ahead of time. This demonstrates the great potential of offshore wind.”The company will build the wind farms within four years with a flexibility of one year.
POSCO E&C has completed construction on a waste-to-power plant in Krakow, Poland.The plant, delivered for Krakow Communal Holding, was constructed in three and a half years.The $250M facility — the largest daily waste incinerating facility in Poland — is capable of processing 220,000t of household waste annually in an eco-friendly way.
Italian construction firm Salini Impregilo has signed a framework agreement worth $3.9bn to construct a hydropower project in Tajikistan.The firm has been awarded the first lot of the project’s work, valued at $1.95bn, which includes the construction of a 335m-high rockfill dam with a clay core on the Vakhsh River. The dam will be located in Pamir — one of Central Asia's main mountain ranges.The agreement between Salini Impregilo and Rogun Hydropower Project, the state-run company that is coordinating the project, concerns the exploitation of the Pamir’s hydroelectric potential and include four lots. The three remaining lots are seen being assigned to the group by 30 September 2016.Upon completion, the project will include six turbines of 600MW each with a total installed capacity of 3,600MW — the equivalent of three nuclear power plants.
Scottish energy company SSE has made a final decision to proceed with the construction of the £360M Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 (FM2) project in West Yorkshire.The project, which was awarded planning consent in October 2015, will be constructed adjacent to the recently completed FM1 project on land at Ferrybridge ‘C’ Power Station in Knottingley, West Yorkshire. Upon completion, the plant will be able to generate about 70MW of electricity — enough to power around 170,000 homes. Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) served as the main engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor on the FM1 plant and has been selected for the Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 (FM2) project.SSE’s head of construction Charlie Cryans said: “SSE’s decision to take the FM2 project through to construction is positive for our businesses, but also represents a £360M investment, which will provide a range of benefits for the local area which we have a long association with.“We will be holding a Meet the Buyer event in the coming weeks which will provide local businesses and suppliers with the opportunity to meet the main contractor for the project, and pitch their products and services.”Construction work is expected to start later this year. The project will create more than 500 construction jobs during its three-year period.
US-based infrastructure firm AECOM has secured an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the $700M Alliant Energy Riverside Energy Center expansion project in Wisconsin, US.AECOM will be responsible for the design, supply, install and start-up of a 2x1 gas-fired combined cycle. The power plant will use gas-fired combustion turbine technology to produce about 700MW of electricity for Alliant Energy customers in Wisconsin. AECOM’s chairman and CEO Michael Burke said: “We’re pleased to build the next-generation power plant that will enable Alliant Energy to keep delivering efficient and cost effective energy to thousands of customers and businesses.“This project taps an experienced, talented team unrivaled in our industry for delivering energy efficient power generation sites across the country.”The project is expected to be complete by early-2020.
Momentum joint venture has been selected as the construction management-as-agent contractor for the ITER’s project to build the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor at Cadarache in France.The JV is led by Amec Foster Wheeler in partnership with Assystem and KEPCO Engineering and Construction Company.Under the €174M contract, Momentum will manage and coordinate the assembly and installation of more than 1M components for the ITER reactor.The scope of the work includes contract management, configuration management, project management, construction preparation, site coordination, works supervision, and activities leading up to mechanical completion.Amec Foster Wheeler’s president of clean energy business Clive White said: “The Momentum team is proud and delighted to be chosen for such a pivotal role on one of the world’s most important energy projects.“The Momentum partners will bring complementary skills to bear and embed a can-do project culture focused on safety, quality and maintaining schedule and costs.“Amec Foster Wheeler has played an important part in the ITER project for over 20 years and this important contract underlines our key role in developing future nuclear technologies while continuing to support the existing fission power industry.”The contract will run for 10 years and has an option to extend for three years.
SNC-Lavalin in joint venture with Aecon Group has secured two contracts from Ontario Power Generation (OPG) for nuclear services at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Ontario, Canada.Under the first contract worth $265M, the JV will be responsible for the refurbishment of all four 935MW steam turbine generators at the station, along with the generators’ overhauls and moisture separator re-heaters, condenser repairs and implementation of new controls systems.Work has already started and is expected to be complete in 2025.According to the second contract, valued at $127M, the JV will provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the Retube Waste Processing Building. The work, shared equally between the two companies, is anticipated to be completed in 2017.SNC-Lavalin’s chief nuclear officer and executive vice president of nuclear Preston Swafford said: “We are pleased to work closely with OPG to extend the life of one of Canada’s largest nuclear generating stations.“Our nuclear capabilities ensure that the Candu nuclear reactors will continue to provide safe, reliable, affordable and CO2-free energy to Ontario for up to another 30 years.”
Dominion subsidiary Dominion Virginia Power has started work on its 1,588MW Greensville County Power Station in Virginia, USA.Construction on the new $1.3bn facility follows the plant's air permit approval by the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board. According to the company, the air permit, issued on June 17, was the last regulatory hurdle the power plant had to clear before proceeding. Dominion's Generation Group CEO Paul Koonce said: "This is terrific news for Dominion, its customers, the Commonwealth, Greensville County and all of Southside Virginia."We are excited about the task ahead and are looking forward to getting this state-of-the art power station operating and providing energy to more than 400,000 customers by 2019."The new plant will be the company's second major generation project in Southside, being the first Brunswick County Power Station, which started generating electricity in April.
Dubai Municipality plans to build a $544M waste-to-energy plant in Dubai.The plant, set to become the largest plant in the Middle East to convert solid waste into energy, will be located in Warsan district 2.According to Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, director-general of Dubai Municipality, the project will be implemented over three years.In its first phase, the plant will receive 2,000t of municipal waste per day to produce 60MW of power.Essa Al Maidoor, deputy-director of Dubai Municipality, said the waste incineration project is the first of four projects to produce green energy and that the municipality aims to produce 7% of Dubai’s total energy from clean energy sources by 2020.The plant will be operational in the second quarter of 2020.