Fluxys, the operator of the Zeebrugge LNG terminal informed that the work on the construction of the fifth storage tank is progressing according to plans.
The work on the 180,000 cbm storage tank officially began in June with the preparation of the working area and the creation of a new separate entrance to this area, the company said on Monday.
Construction work will see the digging of a big hole in which the new tank will be housed. Like the other four, the new tank will be half-buried in order to comply with the legal height limits. The surrounding earth will be retained by a diaphragm wall built in a circle 102 metres across. The wall will comprise 48 panels that are 36 metres tall, 7 metres wide and 1.2 metres thick. So far, 28 of these panels have been concreted and installed.
A special excavator is used to dig individual holes for the panels. The excavated part is gradually filled with bentonite in order to prevent the ground from subsiding. Once the excavation work for a panel is completed, the rebar cages are placed in the bentonite before the concreting work begins. Since concrete is heavier than bentonite, the latter gradually rises to the surface where it is pumped out and then recovered for the following panels.
The first stage in the construction of the diaphragm wall should end in late October. Fluxys will then proceed with the tank excavation phase, which will involve removing nearly 200,000 cubic meters of sand. After the excavation phase, the so-called conventional construction of the tank will continue with the deployment of the external concrete tank and then the internal tank made of 9% nickel steel.
The company plans for the new tank and the accompanying battery of compressors to become operational by the end of 2018.