Overhead cranes going underground? While most overhead cranes operate at ground level, Rotomatik was given the privilege to provide overhead cranes below ground level.
This is our narrative.
Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) announced the development of the underground rock cavern (URC).
According to the Singapore Straits Times (13 May 2008) the tender calling for the construction of the URC will cover such “space, technical and functional requirements, operation and maintenance requirements and identification of issues of concern”.
In Phase 1 of the URC which is located beneath Jurong Island, Singapore’s first underground cavern is built for the storage of crude oil and oil products like naphta, condensate and gas oil.
As with most gas installation equipment and machinery are necessary. There is also a need for lifting equipment. These are used for the removal of key components such as solenoid valves for maintenance and repair purposes.
Rotomatik has supplied 5 underground explosion-proof cranes working in the cavern. These are designed to work in an explosive environment.
Rotomatik has won the project due to its distinct value proposition of its track record of supplying customised lifitng solutions with short delivery time and its quality mangement system in every stage from design to full factory acceptance testing.
While these are critical, working with the main contractor Hyundai is the other element of the working equation. Hyundai provided Rotomatik its full support without which the installation could be hampered.
The tunnel is located about 100 metres below ground. Access to the storage area is via a lift and a 1 km tunnel. There a few work site areas.
Above ground, Rotomatik has supplied 4 cranes, of which 2 are explosion-proof cranes.
Lee KF who is the project manager said that the challenges working deep underground were high humidity, high temperature.
While the work site was relatively safe due to the strict conditions imposed the government, our staff was always fearful of the tunnel collapsing in addition to the claustrophobic feeling, despite the fact the tunnel leading to the work site is wide and high enough for a trailer of 9m length and 3m wide to drive through.
Candidly, Lee said that the installation of the cranes above ground was a piece of cake compared to the underground work.
Rotomatik is fortunate to have dedicated staff Lee KF, Uddin and Najmul working tirelessly underground to complete the installation, load testing and commissioning within schedule. When asked if he would go underground again, he said with a laugh “Why not?”
This prestigious project adds another feather to Rotomatik’s hat.