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Case Study: Boskalis Project

Introduction 

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. is a leading global dredging and offshore contractor and maritime service provider. With roots in the Netherlands, Boskalis has been operating for over 100 years, offering the widest range of expert dredging, offshore transport and installation solutions, and maritime services, including towage and salvage.

Traditionally, dredging has been Boskalis’ main activity. Services include the construction and maintenance of ports and waterways, land reclamation, coastal defence and riverbank protection. Boskalis employs over 10,000 employees and 900 ships, giving them one of the world’s largest dredging fleets. They operate in over 75 countries on six continents.

Backhoe dredgers are stationary dredgers with a hydraulic excavator installed on a pontoon. The backhoe dredgers can dredge a wide range of materials with accuracy, operating mainly in shallow and enclosed waters.

The backhoe dredger generally has three legs (known as “spuds”) on the ocean floor for support, with a transport barge moored alongside the dredger. The bucket excavates soil in the boom, stick, and bucket’s backward and upward movement. Once the bucket is full, the dredged material is discharged into the transport barge. The full barge transports the dredged material to a designated location.

Boskalis has around 18 of these vessels operating on projects worldwide, including the Magnor, the largest backhoe in the world.

Many of Boskalis’ backhoe dredgers have names that come from Norse mythology. Magnor means ‘The Fighter’. With a total installed power of 4,100 kW, the dredger’s bucket can lift 67,000 kilograms of dredged material. According to the construction team of the Magnor, backhoe dredgers specialise in hard ground dredging, especially when working with smaller volumes, and for dredging landfalls and trenches. Backhoe dredgers are also being used increasingly for environmental reasons because they minimise turbidity in water.

Background

The Magnor has a BK 12700 DD Greenline excavator based on the largest mining machine on the market today, the Caterpillar 6090. The name ‘Greenline’ means the machine has low fuel consumption and reduced emissions of harmful substances. Another highly effective innovation is water cooling for the engines and hydraulics, significantly improving fuel consumption and emissions and reducing noise levels.

Unlike other backhoes, the Magnor has accommodation for the specialised crew of eight. That makes it possible to deploy the Magnor on operations in even the most inhospitable regions. On this occasion, the Magnor finds itself parked on the shores of Port Melbourne, Victoria, after a long voyage, ready for an upgrade to its state-of-the-art cooling system.

“The project involves electrical modifications, level switches need to be connected, floor plates need to be arranged, and water tanks need to be mounted. As you can see, we needed a piping system that was versatile enough to cater to the complexity of this project. That’s why we chose the Impress® press fit system. We can’t imagine how long it would take to weld it all together,” says Errol Ewen, Technical Superintendent.

Solution

When you are dealing with a project involving 330m of piping at a remote fuel farm, the margin for error is close to nil. That was the exact scenario facing CPM Sino Iron plant at Cape Preston in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Five different sizes of piping, ranging from 28mm to 168mm, were required, and any errors or discrepancies in traditional welding would result in a large loss of time and productivity. This is why CPM elected to use Ibex Australia’s Impress® stainless steel piping system to achieve the result on time and well below budget.

Result

Our Impress® 316L press fit system was used in the state-of-the-art cooling system, offering a high-quality single-sided press. It’s perfect for offshore needs with high strength pressure ratings of up to 40 bar. In addition, there were no quality issues with the pipes, which meant that they could be put to use immediately. This saved CPM a great deal of time and money and ensured that the project was completed on schedule.

Customer Testimonial

“We needed a piping system that was versatile enough to cater to the complexity of this project. Which is why we chose the Impress® press fit system. We can’t imagine how long it would take to weld it all together.”

Errol Ewen, Technical Superintendent, Boskalis
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