The Dominican Republic's national electricity provider, EGE-Haina, operates a 45 MW coal thermal power plant in the small port town of Barahona. The plant, which was built about 20 years ago, was due for upgrades that would improve efficiency. To bring the equipment up to standard, EGE-Haina hired Schrader Camargo to install a new turbine, generator and condenser that would bring production up to 55 MW.
Schrader Camargo teamed up with Sarens for the transport and lift operation. Sarens would use SPMTs to transport the 136-tonne turbine, 80-tonne condenser and 100-tonne generator from the local port site and temporarily store them at the power plant.
Installation, however, was the challenging part of the plan. The team would have to work inside a multi-level building, which meant modules couldn't be installed from the top with a crane. With no heavy lift cranes available on the island anyhow, Sarens had to come up with another solution.
Rising to the challenge, the engineering department developed a skidding and jacking solution for installing the condenser, as well as an external assembled gantry for building up the beams, bracings, strand jacks and skidding system needed to install the turbine and generator. All the equipment necessary could easily fit into open-top containers, and would be fairly cost-effective to ship from Antwerp.
The project required the following equipment:
Two people were mobilised from the Sarens head office to install the gantry and operate the SPMTs.
"Luc and Ben were supported by Rodrigo, our Spanish-speaking project manager with Venezuelan roots, and last but not least a local rigging team delivered by our client," says project manager Rodrigo Armas. "During the execution, the engineers Tim (engineering and calculation) and Joris (equipment preparation and technical support) were on site to support the team during the final installation of the 'crown jewels' of the Barahona power plant."
The team needed to work together closely to address challenges on site. For example, they had to work next to and inside of a new building that was still under construction. Additionally, power plant operations were still ongoing, so it was necessary to work around existing production activities and the high voltage lines nearby.
Sarens faced other challenges during the project which made it necessary to recalculate the lifting tackle on-site. Wet weather conditions also limited working times.
As communication challenges arose, Rodrigo handled them capably, liaising between the Sarens team and the client. "Apart from taking up project and site management, Rodrigo was an indispensable link between our team and the client's, making it work as one functional team," says Armas.
Despite the challenges faced on site, the team was able to finish installation work safely and ahead of schedule. With the work complete, they demobilised the equipment quickly, smoothly and at low cost. Sarens congratulations the entire team on their successful project!