Can save millions on winter construction

Can save millions on winter construction

October 9, 2015
Head of Communication

Collaboration between Norut and companies in Narvik is allowing Statnett to extend the construction season and save millions.

This collaboration involving Norut Narvik, HeatWork, Prestjord Maskin and Statnett, the system operator in the Norwegian energy system, is being described as a win-win situation.

The joint project will make it possible to cast concrete foundations of high quality even during winter in cold climates. Statnett Nord currently spends NOK 10 million per year on the rehabilitation of concrete foundations for power line masts, so this new research can lead to reduced maintenance and development costs.

The Norwegian state-owned energy company Statkraft is in the process of constructing a new 150 km long power line from Ofoten in Nordland County to Balsfjord in Troms County, and in the spring of 2016 will start work on the 300 km section from Balsfjord to Skaidi in Finnmark County.

“The aim is that in the future we will be able to cast concrete foundations during the winter and that these will be of such quality that they can withstand more cold and fluctuations in temperature.

Casting concrete foundations in winter can increase the construction season by two or three months, which will in turn help reduce the development costs since the construction time will be reduced. In addition, we hope to be able to limit the rehabilitation budget,” said Bergit Svenning, who heads the Operations Group at Statnett SF Nord, to the Research Council of Norway.

Too mild for cold climate research

The research is being performed by ColdTech at Norut Narvik, and is being led by Research Director Christian Petrich. ColdTech is part of the NORDSATSING initiative. Five research scientists are involved in the project, which runs from 2009 to 2017.

The project is already delayed by a year due to a lack of cold weather. The temperatures during the 2014-2015 winter were actually too mild to conduct the necessary measurements.

Win-win

Narvik company HeatWork produces the mobile thermal power plants that generate fluid-borne heat used during the casting of the concrete foundations. CEO Reidar J. Schille is pleased to be participating in the research work.

“The R & D work shows that our machine and method of heating the bedrock and concrete works. The machines provide the correct temperature for all concrete regardless of the outside temperature.”

“This method reduces the hardening time by up to 85 percent in comparison with normal casting methods. The casting work is completed quicker and results in the correct quality,” says Reidar J. Schille.

This is how he sums up the win-win project:

“The researchers have acquired new knowledge, HeatWork has confirmed that our machines work, the contractor Visinor is running year-round operations without seasonal layoffs and Statnett Nord gets construction work done in the winter. The project secures jobs and has generated expertise that will remain in the region,” says Schille.