ALE on Karbala Refinery Project
ALE mobilised a heavylift crane to install three tank roofs, saving over a month from the schedule of a section of the Karbala Refinery Project in Iraq. The new facility is expected to have a refinery capacity of 140,000 barrels of crude oil per day and this operation had a tight deadline to keep the $6.04bn project on track.
The tank roofs had been built inside the tanks and the client initially planned to raise them by air. ALE had previously completed a large scope of work on the project of more than 350 lifts of refinery components, so the client had faith in their expertise. ALE’s ability to quickly reconfigure one of the largest-ever capacity cranes in Iraq presented an alternative option that would save time and enable the client to proceed to their next phase ahead of schedule.
The early involvement of ALE saved costs on the operation as the client didn’t have to purchase heavy duty turnbuckles or additional lifting tackle. ALE worked closely with the client during the design of the lifting tackle arrangement for each roofs’ 20 lifting points. ALE provided recommendations for the client’s design and fabrication of the specialist lifting device that would ensure equal loading of all slings.
Additional time was saved on the operation as, following a lifting study, ALE was able to perform the lifts from only two crane positions instead of three. Due to the high temperatures on site, movement times were limited, but the team’s experience enabled them to reduce the operation from 21 to 15 days.
ALE used a 1,600t capacity crawler crane to hoist each roof, weighing 209t and measuring 53m in diameter. Once at the required height, they were welded in place.
The Karbala facility was commissioned to help fulfil Iraq’s growing domestic demand, as well as assisting in the country’s transition to become a net exporter of oil products. Production at the refinery is expected to begin in 2022.