The Special Projects Group and Hydro Rents, two divisions of Canadian-owned AGF Access Group, were selected by Structural Technologies LLC/VSL to provide equipment for work on three liquified natural gas tanks in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Quintana, just outside of the Houston metro area. Through the use of customized Hydro-Mobile F Series and S Series mast climbers, the jobs were completed on time and with proficiency, while improving the safety and productivity of its customers.

LNG concrete storage tanks contain methane gas. Texas alone produced 27 percent of total U.S.-marketed gas production in 2015, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency. Each of the tanks on the Texas projects holds 30 million gallons of LNG, stand about 140 feet tall with a 185-foot diameter.

Structural Technologies/VSL required a specialized access solution to install and tension steel post cables at four vertical concrete buttresses that anchored the tendons, each wrapping halfway around the tanks. The Hydro-Mobile mast climbers allowed the team to install the steel cables, use hydraulic jacks to stress the tendons, and fill the ducts with cement grout. The platforms were used for three operations, including the installation of the post tension strands, stressing the strands and grouting work.

The Cheniere Energy LNG project in Corpus Christ needed a safe and efficient way to access the buttresses of two tanks during their post-tensioning activities. Structural Technologies/VSL needed four mastclimbers to simultaneously operate for a year, and two additional ones for another five months, capable of working at an offset elevation on each side of the buttress with heavy loads, with speed to quickly reach the full 140-foot height, and jib arms on the platform to support hydraulic jacks.

The solution was a custom Hydro-Mobile F300 Series, a fast unit capable of travelling at 38 feet per minute, up to 12,000 pounds of capacity split into two work platforms, each traveling independently on one side of the mast. Each platform had two integrated custom jib arms that were each able to hold a 1,000-pound hydraulic jack.

The Freeport LNG project in Quintana, Texas, also required a safe and productive means of access during its post-tensioning activities on the buttress of its LNG tank. Electrical mast-climbing work platforms were required to gain access to each buttress located along the circumference of the LNG tank.

“These were challenging projects,” said Benjamin Forbes, senior project manager, Structural Technologies/VSL. “Both were big and very tall for concrete tanks. There was a great deal of other work happening around us and the mast climbers provided a stable work environment. SPG was great to work with. Any time there was an issue with the equipment, they quickly addressed it. They were always timely in their responses. Their solution offered quality, safety and was a great option for the extra capacity. It was a practical and efficient solution.”

“Not many companies have the ability to work on specialized projects such as these,” said Rick Harland, general manager, Hydro-Rents Virginia. “With SPG’s customized engineering and Hydro-Rents’ installation and support staff in the field, there isn’t a project that the AGF Access Group cannot handle.”