SADC Mining & Construction News

South Africa: Another successful turnkey modular construction and transit solution from thyssenkrupp Uhde delivered to a key customer 

ThyssenKrupp Uhde has extensive global engineering capabilities, experience and know-how in the design, fabrication and movement of modules, having delivered numerous modularisation solutions for a wide range of industries around the world, from mines to petrochemical plants.

The company recently successfully completed the fabrication and on-site placement of a 80 ton module for a key customer in the crude refinery industry. The module, which was constructed by thyssenkrupp Uhde off-site, is part of a current ongoing project at a large petrochemical site located in the Free State.

Moving this colossus required meticulous planning and team work and the thyssenkrupp Uhde team once again rose to the challenge. “Our in-depth engineering knowledge and expertise combined with our exceptional modularisation capabilities honed over many years ensured the achievement of this milestone,” states Joshua Visser, Senior Project Manager at thyssenkrupp Uhde.

The refinery customer approached thyssenkrupp Uhde in Q4 2021 to assist with the construction of a Low Pressure Sour Gas (LPSG) booster plant. According to Visser, thyssenkrupp Uhde secured the contract on the back of a successful previous large module solution (as part of a Liquid Sulphur Degassing project). Visser explains that due to significant on-site restrictions, the SGPB plant had to be constructed outside of the production areas and, once completed, transported into place using self-propelled modular transporters.  

Plants are often not a good space for on-site construction work which can be hampered by physical and environmental restrictions resulting in costly delays, reduced productivity and increased risk to personnel safety. Space limitations can impede contractor access causing delays. There are also environmental considerations that can include anything from harmful emissions and high noise levels to extreme temperatures. 

By comparison, modularisation offers a highly efficient, productive, cost effective and safe solution; the off-site construction of modules in open, easy-to-access areas and non-hazardous environments facilitates efficient, productive and safe work. Civil, structural and mechanical teams can work in tandem, installing all disciplines in the module, leaving only a few functions such as interconnectivity work once the module has been placed in its final on-site position. Moreover, each module has an interface file showing exactly where every grid and pipe point, cable end, rack, etc. that have to link to neighbouring modules or structures on a plant must be built. Leaving only minimal on site work, especially in a hazardous environment, is a massive advantage of off-site construction with personnel safety being a major plus factor. Once construction is completed, the module is then transported as complete structures via ship and road to the final plant site.

Visser confirms that final connections from the module to the production areas are currently in progress with completion and final commissioning expected at the end of Q1 2023. “The thyssenkrupp Uhde team once again rose to the challenges, reaffirming our position as a leading provider of modularisation solutions that form part of our extensive value adding service portfolio,” he concludes.

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