Concrete Offshore Platform Designed By Foundation-Skanska
The Foundation Company of Canada Limited, in joint venture with Skanska of Sweden, has proposed a concrete platform to Mobil Oil Canada for use in the Venture gas field off Nova Scotia. Designed for use in 22 meters (72+ feet) of water, the platform is a scaleddown version of the behemoth structures used in the North Sea.
Foundation has been involved in marine work since its inception in 1910, and feels that concrete-base gravity structures can be built for less cost than an equivalent complex of steel jackets as is currently proposed for Venture.
John Otter, vice president of engineering, says that Foundation- Skanska estimates the cost of construction and installation of two jackets to be approximately C$62 million. These platforms would replace the two complexes of steeL jackets described in Mobil's recent environmental impact statement. Construction work would provide approximately 690 man-years of directly related labor, of which some 630 man-years would be generated in ordinary construction trades in the Halifax/ Dartmouth area. Materials and equipment would also be procured locally, stimulating the depressed Nova Scotia construction industry infrastructure. The attraction of this scheme is that the necessary skills and equipment are readily available, today, within the Province.
Foundation claims that the shift from steel to concrete would not be at the expense of the local steel fabrication industry because the Mobil Venture environmental impact statement currently envisages only about one-third of total steel fabrication work being performed in the Province. Even with concrete supporting structures, platform integrated decks will require some 10,000 tons of steelwork and modules—work that will go to unemployed Nova Scotian welders and fitters. Local labor demand should therefore be increased by the use of concrete gravity platforms.
Foundation and its joint-venture partner are considering setting up separate facilities for the construction of the concrete platform bases and the fabrication of integrated modules for platform decks and topsides that will utilize existing Foundation Company property and involve some additional expansion.
Further action will depend upon positive responses from industry and the Venture Field operator, Mobil Oil Canada Limited.
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