A Major Step for a Pipeline: Crossing the Serra do Mar State Park in Brazil

Proceedings Publication Date:

26 Jul 2016
Presenter
Philipp Elsner
Presenter
Author
Philipp Elsner
Part of the proceedings of
Abstract
From 2009 to 2011 the state-owned company Petrobras installed a major gas pipeline from a newly constructed refinery directly at the southeast coast of Brazil over roughly 75 km to an inland connection point with the existing major gas distribution network. The refinery produced natural gas from a newly developed field 180 km off the coastline. In order to build the pipeline major logistical and technical obstacles had to be overcome. A literately major step was the crossing of the Serra do Mar State Park, a 5km wide mountainside quickly rising from sea-level to over 800 m and protecting the last remains of the Atlantic Rain Forest in that region. In order to cross the park a five kilometre long and 6,2 m diameter tunnel had to be drilled with a Hard-Rock Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). At the end of the tunnel 550 m deep shafts hat to be drilled to connect the tunnel with the surface. Due to a very strict time schedule the installation of the pipeline into the tunnel ad to start parallel to the tunnel excavation. This was only possible because the pipeline was welded outside of the tunnel portal and then consecutively pushed into the 3% rising tunnel over the full distance of 5000 m. But also the surface pipeline installation had to deal with schedule constrains. Normally in those regions pipeline works can be interrupted for months due to heavy rain falls, related flooding’s and muddy ground impossible to use by any machinery. In order to avoid those negative effects the largest tent in the world was erected along a critical part of the surface pipeline. This paper describes the construction works concerning this pipeline project and all the different supporting operations necessary to clear the way for the gas.

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