Mammoet crawlers upgrade Saudi plant
By Niamh Marriott14 April 2023
Mammoet was instructed by Saudi Arabia-based Ma’aden Waad Al Shamal Phosphate Company (MWSPC) to replace the nine process towers of its power plant as quickly as possible, to avoid costly downtime.
The two original towers had been stick built and were not designed to be lifted in one piece yet removing in sections would take several months.
Aided by computer modelling, Mammoet devised a plan to lift out the old towers intact, then manoeuvre the modular replacements into position.
Mammoet used two crawler cranes – a 1,600 tonne capacity CC8800-1 and 1,250 tonne capacity CC6800, as well as a 3,200 tonne capacity MSG-80 ring crane for the lifting work. With this combination, it became possible to reach far above the tight confines of the site, extract all nine of the towers, move them to a central staging area, and hoist the replacements into position.
Mammoet prepared a detailed engineering study prior to commencing the work. 3D digital models of each tower were supplemented by a series of ultrasonic tests to reveal their structure and strength. A finite element (FE) simulation showed how they would respond to the pressure of being hoisted out of the plant. A series of bespoke frames and slings were designed to safely cradle the towers throughout the move.
Abdullah Terkaoui, Project Manager for Mammoet explains: “Our methodology enabled our customers to reduce the planned shutdown schedule for each train from 120 days to 45 days.”
Nayef Rowily, project director for MWSPC, said, “This was accomplished through excellent teamwork, including assessing all risks associated with the scope. We are pleased with Mammoet’s performance across all three SAP train tower replacements. They surpassed our expectations, and the site team did an exceptional job in delivering the project in record time.”
MWSPC operates the Umm Wu’al Sulphuric Acid and Power Plant, located in an industrial city in the northeast of the kingdom. Structured around three sulphuric acid trains containing a total of nine vast process towers, it produces almost 14,000 tonnes of fertilizer a day.