Compact Power

Indeco ISS 10/20 shears were used on a site outside Bologna to dismantle two turbo compressors of a major natural gas storage facility serving the national grid.

 September 25, 2019

Stogit, a subsidiary of Snam, is performing a renovation project at the gas storage facility in Minerbio outside Bologna. The company, leader in gas storage in Italy and one of the most important companies in Europe, manages nine facilities and operates in synergy with other transport and regasification infrastructures, contributing decisively to the country’s energy safety. The storage system is critically important because it equalizes the supply and consumption of gas, and to that end, Stogit places special attention on the safety and efficiency of its facilities.

The project at the Minerbio facility involves three phases, but the first part currently under way provides that the pertinent areas be restored to “greenfield” status in order to prepare them for subsequent works and to increase the space available inside the facility. The works entail the total demolition and removal of the plants, above-ground structures, piping (underground and on the surface) and the reinforced concrete bases of the two turbo compressors that had reached the end of their working life so that they could be replaced with a larger, more powerful one with an upgraded design and that delivered greater efficiency.

A rational choice of equipment

Stogit assigned the dismantling of the two turbo compressors to Sicilsaldo/Nuova Ghizzoni, specialized contractor in the oil industry and active in the construction of gas pipelines and plants, industrial assembles, and in the civil and international market, having completed important projects in Tunisia, Kuwait and Algeria. Sicilsaldo/Nuova Ghizzoni is currently part of the consortium of companies undertaking construction of the TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline), the pipeline that will cross the Adriatic and bring natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Italy after traversing Turkey, Greece and Albania. Other major projects are being performed in Mexico and Algeria. The company, which is one of the most important Italian firms in the industry and is known for its experience, highly skilled staff and efficient logistics, also claims a fleet of machines and equipment numbering hundreds.

Despite the availability of machinery, for this specific project at the Minerbio storage facility, Sicilsaldo/Nuova Ghizzoni decided to purchase Indeco ISS 10/20 shears. Luca Di Vita, who represents the company at Stogit and is also the Construction Site Manager, says the size of the equipment and its power were a determining factor: “As always, and that goes for this project too, we measured the use of resources and evaluated all aspects of the contract, so that we were able to comply with the specifications and the timeframe of the tender.

Because the gas storage facility is in operation, we had to be very careful when choosing the method of using the machinery and equipment and the areas where they would be operation, taking the strict safety criteria into particular consideration. The choice of moderately small shears was prompted by the need to operate within the assigned areas, all relatively small. Larger shears would have implied using an excavator with a higher weight, which would have compromised mobility during the phases to dismantle the turbo compressors and, in the long run, also productivity.

The high concentration of service roads and footpaths within the site would have also limited the space available for the phase where the various structural elements and components of the plant would be further cut to allow them to be hauled away for recycling. Though the ISS 10/20 was in some way undersized with respect to the larger structural elements, it demonstrated great productivity and an exceptional cutting ability, but also allowed us to greatly limit manual work, an advantage that significantly influenced the speed and especially the safety of all phases of the demolition.”

The smallest of the Indeco range

The ISS 10/20 shears Sicilsaldo/Nuova Ghizzoni chose are the smallest of the six making up the Indeco range, and with their 2400 kg of operating weight and maximum clamping force at tip of 120 tons they feature an exceptional weight to power ratio. Like all the other models of the range, this attachment with its robust chassis entirely built in extra-strength Hardox has a dual guide system that keeps the jaws perfectly aligned to prevent buckling during the cutting stroke. The double regeneration valve speeds up the movement of the jaws (accelerating opening and closing and thus improving productivity), whereas the dual piercing system in both the upper and lower tip makes for a clean, gradual cut.