Mammoet offers clients tailor-made methods for the relocation and decommissioning of installations, with a specific focus on safety, cost-effectiveness, schedules and environmental impact.

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Mammoet offers clients tailor-made methods for the relocation and decommissioning of installations, with a specific focus on safety, cost-effectiveness, schedules and environmental impact.

Unique challenges

Major facilities like chemical plants, offshore drilling platforms, power stations and mines represent significant capital assets. When in full production they are revenue drivers, but such facilities are costly to run. Once optimum efficiency isn’t possible – due to their level of utilization or simply their age – owners and operators must consider end-of-life options such as decommissioning and relocation. With an unmatched fleet of heavy lifting and transport equipment, alongside engineering teams with in-depth experience in decommissioning and moving entire plants for major industries, Mammoet has the capacity and capability to carry out both operations for its clients.

Whereas many new refineries, steel plants and power stations are being built in modular fashion – with components designed with efficient transport and installation in mind – older facilities pose unique heavy lifting and transport challenges. Few were designed with decommissioning or relocation in mind and their buildings and components must be carefully handled during the dismantling process. Reinforcement may be required before the items can be transported off site for re-deployment elsewhere, or for demolition and recycling.

Optimizing outcomes

Location and site access are always key factors in relocation or decommissioning projects. The removal of plant from an industrial area, a desert or an urban space will have different implications in terms of planning the safest and most sustainable operation with minimum disruption. It will define the heavy lifting and transport equipment options, as well as the techniques used. Mammoet approaches relocation and decommissioning projects by paying specific attention to safety, cost-effectiveness, the schedule and environmental impact.

With close ties to customers in every major industry, Mammoet has supported the relocation and decommissioning of virtually every type of installation. Each project is unique, often requiring tailor-made engineering solutions in order to achieve optimal outcomes.

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Shortened schedules

When Syncrude needed to relocate two oil sands process train units on the Aurora Mine in Alberta, Canada, a new approach was required in order to safely jack up a 3,300-ton slurry prep facility (SPF). The solution would have to take into account not only the soft soil usually associated with oil sand excavation, but also the structural integrity of the component. Mammoet’s engineers were able to jack the SPF up to a height of four feet, evenly distributing its weight, then position 168 axle lines of SPMT transporters, before moving the structure up a 6% gradient to its new location. The solution meant that Syncrude could re-commission its machinery and return to production five days quicker than other options allowed, saving the company over $5million.

Minimizing disruption

It is not only production facilities that require efficient relocation and decommissioning. One of the world’s largest quayside cranes used to stand at Devonport in the UK as part of Babcock Marine’s operation there. Built in the 1970s the steel structure weighed 1,450 tons and was 125 meters long. The crane was specialized for the installation of nuclear fuel rods into nuclear submarines and had become obsolete. Mammoet suggested removing the crane whole and using gantry beams, skid shoes, MSG towers, strand jacks and four mobile cranes, the old crane was moved and lowered onto a barge for removal to a demolition location. This approach meant minimal disruption to the working dock, and enhanced safety at the site by reducing the amount of work at height that would be required to dismantle the crane.

Ensuring safety

Sometimes the unexpected occurs, leading to the scrapping of a structure or facility. When part of a roof collapsed at a shopping center in Nice, France, another section of roof was deemed unsafe and Mammoet was called upon to remove it. Again, reducing disruption was a key aim of the job as having the entrance covered by the roof closed for six weeks would have caused a great deal of inconvenience for customers, which in turn impacts retail revenues. Mammoet’s fast response meant the roof could be jacked up and safely moved to a demolition location using self-propelled mobile transporters (SPMTs). In just three weeks, the area was made safe again for shoppers and the retail center could resume trading as normal.

Efficiently laid to rest

In Germany, Mammoet lifted and transported a decommissioned 1950’s nuclear reactor from a scientific facility. The reactor vessel needed to be moved 600 meters to a storage facility where it will rest for 60 years. Mammoet’s approach reduced transport time to four hours – a time saving of more than 75% compared to an earlier planned approach.  Most importantly, the SPMT approach was considered significantly safer, reducing open air exposure. The reactor is now safely stored in a long-term containment facility. 

State-of-the-art equipment

To carry out the efficient and safe turnaround of a relocation or decommissioning operation, an extensive and up-to-date fleet of heavy lifting and transport equipment ensures the greatest range of options. PTC cranes, jacking systems, gantry cranes, skidding equipment, trailers, SPMTs and more are all part of the Mammoet fleet. This equipment is put to use in the safe relocation of entire installations, as well as decommissioning projects. Our fleet is subject to strict maintenance programs, ensuring reliability and safety at all times. And, by deploying different items of equipment in diverse and innovative ways, Mammoet’s engineers strive to find ways of lowering costs and reducing timelines for our clients.

Cost-effective solutions

Mammoet’s equipment and its long-standing expertise form a unique combination in relocation and decommissioning exercises. It is this combination that enables us to devise solutions for any decommissioning or relocation situation, and then successfully deliver them – ensuring safety, cost-effectiveness and as little environmental impact as possible.

cases: Relocation & decomm.