LUANG PRABANG, Laos. The first “significant” hydraulic steel structures are now being installed at the 1,285-MW Xayaburi hydroelectric plant in Laos, consulting engineers KGAL and Whesseo report.
The pieces include a three pairs of 320 tonne, 12×30 meter lock mitre gates, each with integral balancing and fish attraction sluice gates. Each of the gate leaves was transported two miles from an on-site manufacturing facility to the lock site in two pieces, where they were assembled in the lock.
Four outlet radial gates were also installed into the lower level of the project’s spillway structure. Each of the gates has a span of 12×16 meter gates has a designed head of 37 meters and weighs 400 tonnes.
Each of the gates were designed by KGAL’s office in the United Kingdom, with full seismic assessments meeting International Commission on Large Dam (ICOLD) standards. Workshop drawings were then prepared by Whesseo’s Manila office before being approved by KGAL and released for production at the Xayaburi work site.
“This is a significant change in the approach to gate manufacture,” KGAL director Dave Griffiths said. “It is usual for gates to be manufactured off-site and transported long distances to the project. In the case of Xayaburi, Whessoe decided to create an integrated manufacturing facility on the site, complete with CNC machining and painting facilities specifically designed and procured to deal with the very large gates on this project.”
The US$3.5 billion Xayaburi plant is the first of 11 projects proposed for the Lower Mekong River and part of Laos’ plan to become the “battery of the region”.
HydroWorld.com reported in November 2012 that the Poyry Energy Business Group had been selected to supervise the plant’s construction.
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2 September 2014
Activities leading up to this major milestone included the construction of an on-site manufacturing facility, enabling the production of much larger parts and eradicating the constraints of transportation to site on the public roads.
First to be installed are the navigation lock mitre gates. Each pair is 12m span and 30m deep, with a combined weight of 320 tonnes, complete with integral balancing sluice gates. Each mitre gate leaf was transported the two miles from the manufacturing facility to the navigation lock site in two pieces and assembled at the lock. There are three pairs of mitre gate in the lock, in addition to water feed and fish attraction sluice gates.
Following on close behind the mitre lock gates are the low-level outlet radial gates, located in the lower level of the spillway structure. Each of the four radial gates is 12m span and 16m deep, with a design head of 37m and weighing 400 tonnes each.
All of the gates on the project have been designed by KGAL in the UK, with full seismic assessment to the latest ICOLD requirements. Workshop drawings were prepared by Whessoe in their Manila office and signed off by KGAL before being released for manufacture on site.
“This is a significant step change in the approach to gate manufacture; it is usual for gates to be manufactured off-site and transported long distances to the project,” said KGAL Director, Dave Griffiths. “In the case of Xayaburi, Whessoe decided to create an integrated manufacturing facility at the site, complete with CNC machining and painting facilities specifically designed and procured to deal with the large gates on this project.”
Xayaburi is the latest in a long line of projects where KGAL and Whessoe engineers have worked together, with relationships established in the 1980s.
Image: Installation of upstream mitre gate leaf