Integrated approach delivers for Linde
Hertel’s cross-discipline, cross-border working was critical in helping German engineering group Linde deliver the turnkey supply of a €100 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) production plant in Norway.
Owned and operated by Skangass AS, the processing plant at Risavika near Stavanger, took almost three years to build before coming on stream in 2010. With a production capacity of approximately 300,000 tonnes per year, the plant now supplies LNG to industrial customers across Scandinavia and the Baltic region.
Work on the site saw Hertel drew on multi-disciplinary skills to deliver a fully integrated package for Linde.
Michael Ruffert, Hertel’s Project Manager, says: “We were able to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for the project as we could draw upon a range of skills within the business. This dramatically reduced the number of suppliers Linde had to work with as Hertel was responsible for the co-ordination of a number of different elements of the project.”
At Risavika, Hertel was involved in prefabrication, construction, painting, flushing and drying, internal installations of equipment, scaffolding, insulation, fire protection and warehousing for the entire construction site. In addition, it was responsible for project management, quality control and ensuring documentation and safety requirements were met.
Dr Erich Ettlinger, Senior Project Manager at Linde, adds: ”The decision to appoint Hertel for this project was based upon our previous experience of working with them and knowing they could perform to a high technical standard.”
The management team had a great deal of experience of working on similar large projects in the past and a project team was based permanently on site in Norway. They were able to utilise Hertel’s multi-disciplinary network, as well as their knowledge of the processes that needed to take place, to enlist technical expertise from across Europe.
A specialist team from Lithuania, for example, was brought in to work on insulation as they had experience of working in LNG plants in very cold environments. This cross-border working was co-ordinated internally at Hertel to ensure delivery to time and budget.
The logistics of managing a specialist international workforce were complex, with flights, transfers and accommodation to book and tax requirements to meet. Site facilities were also provided by Hertel for staff across all its divisions, again cutting administrative work for Linde.
Hertel co-ordinated employee movement to ensure there was always sufficient expertise on site. Norwegian law stated that no employee could work more than a maximum of 46 hours a week on average. To ensure work progressed as quickly as possible, Hertel staff worked three weeks on, one week off on a rotation basis.
Hertel was able to make use of expertise off-site to ensure extremely high-quality products were supplied. Materials were delivered to the prefabrication workshop in Leipzig along with a 3D isometric drawing of the entire pipe system.
Smaller plans of each section of pipe were then produced digitally, before X-ray welding and coating took place in the extremely controlled environment of the workshop. This process ensured documentation was efficiently managed and that the pipe spools and material codes were kept in sequence.
The pipe spools were transported to Norway by road, with a long-term agreement with a transportation company meaning loads could leave the prefabrication base for Stavanger roughly twice a week. The pipes, along with steel supports, were carefully assembled once on site and certification and X-ray films supplied ready to hand over once the plant was in operation. Safety was critical - each joint was carefully controlled and tested to ensure there were no issues once LNG entered the network.
Insulation work also required highly-technical expertise on-site, this time brought in from Lithuania by Hertel. These specialists installed both cold and heat insulation to pipes of different thicknesses and materials, and a fireproof coating was also applied to several pieces of equipment. Scaffolding was erected by Hertel to provide a safe working environment, before the insulation team set to work.
A central administrative office co-ordinated all on-site work, using Hertel’s considerable experience in process plant construction to manage the arrival of goods on-site and oversee the assembly process.
At its peak, up to 180 committed, highly motivated and well-skilled employees worked on the project to ensure its high quality implementation. Drawing on Hertel’s ability to bring in a range of expertise and skills efficiently, the project was completed within budget. All key turnover dates were met, ready for commissioning to start in May 2010.
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