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Site visit: District Cooling Plant 3, Qatar

by Kim Kemp on Dec 6, 2015

An EPC contract, District Cooling Plant 3 is an industrial project.
An EPC contract, District Cooling Plant 3 is an industrial project.

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An EPC contract, District Cooling Plant 3 is an industrial project, and Al Jaber Engineering has been tasked with the engineering/design, procurement and construction side of the contract.

A turnkey job, Mohamed Saleem, project manager, Aljaber Engineering explains: “We are building the district cooling plant including all the set-out work and process work for Qatar Cool, which is a specialist in chilled water.”

Construction started in May 2014 and the project is due for completion in May 2016. Offering 35,000 refrigeration (RT) tonnes of mechanical cooling, the plant will also feature a thermal energy storage (TES) tank, offering an additional 5,000 RT.

“Qatar Cool has three existing plants, numbers 1 and 2, ours is number three,” he notes and adds: “The company also has an integrated district cooling plant (IDCP) at the Pearl, serving the entire area. This is considered one of the biggest DC plants in the world.

“Before bidding on the District Cooling Plant 3, the consultant was Hyder Consulting, who undertook the concept design and all the bidding documentation, including contractual and technical specs. The sub-consultant we appointed afterwards was Sheker, to develop the detail design and the client appointed Dar Al Handassa to act as a supervising consultant,” Saleem explains.

The very core of what makes this project unusual is its specific post tensioning (PT) slab work, which was awarded to CCL, which provides specialised engineering services for concrete structures; buildings, bridges, tanks etc. using post-tensioning and pre-tensioning techniques. It also provides concrete strengthening solutions – the CCL repair and strengthening unit. As well as structural strengthening CCL’s repair services include concrete repair, specialist grouting, corrosion prevention and bearing inspection and maintenance.

Saleem outlines why PT was chosen for the project: “There are several advantages with PT: First, as an industrial job, with loads anticipated to be huge, and slabs having to support heavy equipment.

“Second: The levels for the slabs are relatively high, reaching 10 metres between each level which, for traditional concrete, would require back-propping. We decided to go for PT to eliminate the need for back-propping. This is a tremendous advantage for us on this job in particular, because we cannot reach 10 metres in height to make back-propping for the slabs.”

John Habib CCL, general manager for Qatar and Kuwait details the PT technique: “For the slabs you have a different design technique. You can design the slabs for normal reinforced concrete slabs (RC) or for PT, or for a steel structure and more, but let’s focus on three types: RC, PT and steel.

“No one system is better than the other, each has its merits and applications,” he stresses. Each system is developed for a need, in terms of open space and spans between the vertical, supporting elements.

He continues: “Originally structural engineers designed ‘traditionally’, using an RC slab. Now, with architects having different requirements, like more open space with fewer vertical elements, the space between the verticals is between eight and 15 metres.