Successful collaboration with Dow Benelux BV
Pieter Raes, Project Manager at Dow Benelux BV and General Manager at Kic, the Knowledge and Innovation Centre for maintenance in the petrochemical industry, is enthusiastic about the collaboration with Boskalis:
“What I think is great is that Boskalis comes up with new technologies based on its views on safety and then applies these technologies in order to make the work intrinsically safer and more efficient.”
“The maintenance of the mooring and foundation piles for our transhipment facilities at the Schelde and Braakmanhaven estuary are a recurring problem. The salt water and the deposits from flora and fauna corrode the steel structures. In the past, divers cleaned these piles with a conventional high-pressure sprayer. Not only did this yield mediocre results, but above all, unacceptably high safety risks.
In our search for a sustainable and safe solution, we ended up at Boskalis. With NINA, Boskalis has a safety mentality and methodology that are well-suited to our industry's safety requirements. What appeals to me is that safety is not just a paper tiger to Boskalis; it lies at the core of the company's thinking. They link safety to quality. The result is innovative and efficient working methods and equipment that we can use to move forward, and that make Boskalis stand out in the market.”
Cleaning corroded mooring piles
Boskalis developed a multi-functional cleaning and inspection robot that can rotate around the piles completely and hose them down with a force of up to 2,500 bar. This mechanized cleaning method results in piles that are much cleaner than if they are cleaned manually. Not only is this solution safer, but it is also more sustainable and more efficient as maintenance is required less frequently.
Divers will still have to clean areas of the piles that are difficult to reach because the robots cannot access every area. For this purpose, an implosion blaster was developed, which removes the filth using innovative cavitation technology. This approach is safer for the divers because the water pressure used is much lower. The new technique is also more effective than the old method.
In order to protect the piles against the effects of the sea for longer, cofferdams are used to add additional protection. Boskalis developed a patented cofferdam in which the spray robot can hang so it can do its cleaning and inspection work, and in which manual maintenance work can be performed. From the cofferdam, a protective coating can be applied safely and “above water”, and it also ensures that the environment is not affected by the work performed. Developing the cofferdam took a lot of time: the forces that the cofferdam had to withstand proved to be greater in reality than previously calculated and various adjustments were required as a result. Pieter Raes: “Boskalis has been extremely professional during this process, which is partly due to the fact that they approach safety in the NINA way.”