A small island with a big history
At just 91 square kilometres, the tiny island boasts an impressive military history as well as an important environmental heritage. It was formally a UK naval station where Napoleon famously spent his exile from 1815 to 1821. Today, Ascension Island offers vital conservation for green turtles with protected breeding beaches.
An unusual and remote project
This was a very unusual diamond drilling and cutting project, not only complicated by the extreme remoteness of the island but also because of the ecological and environmental impact. The new fuel tank was commissioned by the Ministry of Defence and constructed at the Catherine Point Petroleum Supply Depot (PSD).
The main challenge
The existing fuel tank was protected by a thick concrete wall, known as a ‘bund’ that acts as a barrier to prevent fuel leakage fuel should the tank be compromised. The old tank needed to be replaced and a new bund created which would also meet with stringent ecological guidelines, protect the vicinity and conserve the nearby green turtle breeding beach.
Out with the old
With the new fuel tank in place and the new bund now encapsulating the original bund, the challenge was to carefully extract the obsolete sections of the old bund. At 1.45 metres high and 300 mm thick, the bund was a considerable force to be reckoned with when it came to removing it!
First, skilled operators from Castle & Pryor used the Husqvarna Drill Motor DM 340 and Drill Stand DS 450 to achieve a concrete drilling method known as ‘stitch drilling’ where a series holes are made alongside each other.
The bund was then cut horizontally using a Track Saw in order to remove 54.9 lm sub-sections of concrete, every 3 metres. This method provided the most effective way to remove and dispose of the concrete.
It takes around six weeks to sail from the UK to Ascension Island so it was imperative that there were no mechanical supply issues or equipment failures that could potentially cause long, costly delays. Our sawing and drilling equipment was chosen for its unrivalled performance and reliability that customers associate with the Husqvarna brand. In total, the project used over 87 pieces of equipment.
The project was a complete success at every level, coming in on time and on budget, despite the considerable challenges of managing a project across such a distance and located in such remoteness. In addition, the ecological impact of the project was minimised due to the stringent disposal of materials and the maintenance of all equipment under the local, environmental regulations.