Sarens team picks up pipe

13 November 2018

Sarens used 11 mobile cranes to lift and place a 274m gas pipe in Merksem, Belgium.

In Merksem, Belgium, crews were recently hard at work completing the construction of a new tunnel for a gas pipeline below the existing Albert Canal.

The gas pipeline previously ran across a nearby bridge, but due to bridge reconstruction, that portion of the pipeline needed to be placed along an alternate route.

With the tunnel newly drilled, client Van den Berg/Besix tapped Sarens to install the 274m-long gas tube inside the shaft. This precision operation involved eleven cranes and careful execution by everyone on the ground.

Sarens deployed nine telescopic cranes ranging from 40t to 100t capacity, in addition to the client’s two existing cranes. Setting up the cranes took approximately an hour and fifteen minutes, and they remained at the site for one day.

To successfully execute the operation, the cranes worked together to simultaneously lift and hold up the pipe. They worked without visual contact, and were guided by the lifting supervisor. Bit by bit, the load was then inserted into the pipe shaft at a precise angle and pulled carefully through the tunnel via mechanisms on the other side of the Albert Canal.

Two challenges that the 11-member team faced were limited visibility and confined working conditions. For example, in normal conditions with more available space, smaller cranes could have been used and positioned right next to the tube.

“We are very satisfied with the cooperation,” says Maarten Pombreu, business line manager, horizontal directional drilling at Besix. “The result is very good.”

Moving house

Another oil and gas related project that Sarens performed in this year, was the load-out, weighing, and jacking of an oil platform module at a quay in Stord, Norway. The module is destined for the Johan Sverdrup Oil Field in the North Sea, off the coast of Norway. It will be sailed to the field in early 2019, where it will house more than 200 workers.

For the load-out operation, Sarens transported the 110x61x26- metre module from the fabrication hall to the barge, a distance of approximately 200m. For this, the crew used: 432 axles Kamag K24ST, 22 power packs, 18 ballast pumps, 24 driving ramps and 700t of support steel.

Sarens operators then used thirty-two 500t weighing cells to determine the LCLL module’s exact weight, which totaled 12,200t.

Next, they jacked the module approximately 13m above the barge deck so the grillage could be installed. For this, they used four towers of CS 5000 jacking systems.

Most of the Sarens equipment was mobilized from headquarters by ship, while the rest arrived by truck. It took 20 days to complete the rigging, as the complex surface under the module required a lot of cribbing on the trailers.

Sarens positioning the gas pipeline in Merksem