Monthly Archives: July 2014

Gates for third new lock reach Panama Canal expansion site

Photo courtesy of Panama Canal Authority

Photo courtesy of Panama Canal Authority

The Panama Canal expansion has reached another important milestone with the transfer of the first gates to the new locks complex on the Atlantic side. The first of the four gigantic gates that will serve this, the third lock, has now been installed.

The gates left Trieste in Italy by ship on 18 May 2014, and have now joined four others that were delivered during the summer last year. The remaining eight gates planned for the project are scheduled to be delivered by next year.

Italian-Spanish consortium GUPC (Groupo Unidos per el Canal SA) is in charge of the project, with MWH Global appointed to lead the design with TetraTech (USA) and Iv-Infra (Netherlands). The gates have been built in Italy by the Salini-Impregilo group.

Photo courtesy of Panama Canal Authority

Photo courtesy of Panama Canal Authority

Each of the lock gates is 57.6m long, 11m wide, 30m tall and weighs in at a whopping 3,000 tons. Instead of being hinged, the new gates – which are hollow – will slide, opening or closing in a time of 4 to 5 minutes.

To date, about 77% of the work on the expanded Panama Canal has been completed. Although it was hoped that work would be completed this year to coincide with the Panama Canal’s 100th anniversary, it is now projected that the enhanced canal will open in 2016.

Once open, it will allow the passage of Post-Panamax ships between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Post-Panamax vessels are nearly 400m long, and capable of transporting 13,000 containers – nearly triple current capacity.

By Gail Taylor

Written By admin 
July 24, 2014 11:03 am
Posted In Ports, TRANSPORT

Recognition for Australia’s colossal new reverse-osmosis desalination plant

3002 vdp1

Located near Wonthaggi in Victoria, Australia, the Victorian Desalination Project (VDP) has just been awarded the coveted Sir Osborn McCutcheon Victorian Architecture Award for Commercial Architecture 2014 by the Australian Institute of Architects. Working on the $3.5bn PPP project – one of the largest in the world – were peckvonhartel, ARM Architecture and landscape architects ASPECT Studios. Work was completed in 2013.

Also heavily involved were engineers Beca and Parsons Brinkerhoff who formed a joint venture to deliver engineering design services for client, Thiess Degremont Joint Venture (contracted by AquaSure).

The plant is one of the largest reverse-osmosis desalination plants in the world, capable of supplying up to 150bn litres of water a year – more than a third of Melbourne’s annual water needs – with capability to expand to 200bn litres a year.

According to Beca, the VDP is ‘the most technically advanced, environmentally sensitive and energy efficient desalination facility in Australia’. Its concept is based on a ‘green line’ that runs through the site, moving from a natural landscape element to a constructed dune formation, a living green roof (the largest in the southern hemisphere), a footprint encompassing buildings and, ultimately, a restored landscape within a coastal park.

The Beca/Parsons Brinkerhoff joint venture provided engineering design and construction phase services for the reverse osmosis desalination plant, inlet and outlet tunnels, marine structures, 52-mile (84km) water transfer pipeline and 54-mile (87-kilometre) underground power line to supply power to the plant.

Locating the underground power supply in the same easement as the transfer pipeline minimised construction time and maximised the use of space.

The plant has a very small footprint, taking up just 94 acres (38 hectares) of the 650-acre (263-hectare) site. The remaining 556 acres (225 hectares) are an ecologically sustainable coastal park with new habitat for local fauna, including freshwater wetlands, woodland and coastal heath landscape.

3002 vdp3

The underground pipeline connects regional communities to drinking water from Melbourne’s Cardinia Reservoir or the desalination plant via delivery points along the pipeline, as and when required. The two-way desalination pipeline connects areas in South Gippsland and Western Port to the Melbourne water network.

In September 2012, drinking water began to flow from the Victorian Desalination Plant through the underground pipeline and into Melbourne’s Cardinia Reservoir as part of the project’s commissioning process.

Written By admin 
July 08, 2014 11:44 am
Posted In Uncategorized