Massive progress at Xayaburi

XayaburiAfter a long process of preparation, the first significant hydraulic steel structures are now being installed at the Xayaburi dam project on the Lower Mekong in Laos.

First to go in are the massive navigation lock mitre gates; each pair spans a 12 x 30m lock chamber and, with their integral balancing sluice gates, has a combined weight of 320 tonnes. Each mitre gate leaf was transported the two miles from the on-site manufacturing facility to the lock site in two pieces and assembled in the lock. There are three pairs of mitre gates in addition to water feed and fish attraction sluice gates.

Following close behind in the installation programme are the outlet radial gates located in the lower level of the spillway structure. Each of the four radial gates is 12m span x 16m deep and has a design head of 37m. Each one weighs 400 tonnes.

All the gates on the project have been designed by us in the UK with full seismic assessment to the latest ICOLD requirements. Workshop drawings were prepared by Whessoe in their Manila office and  signed off by KGAL before being released for manufacture on site.

KGAL Director Dave Griffiths said, “This is a significant step change in the approach to gate manufacture; it is usual for gates to be manufactured off site and transported long distances to the  project. In the case of Xayaburi, Whessoe decided to create an integrated manufacturing facility on the  site, complete with CNC machining and painting facilities specifically designed and procured to deal  with the very large gates on this project.”

Xayaburi is the latest in a long line of projects where KGAL and Whessoe Engineers have worked together, our relationships were established in the 1980s. Dave added his hopes that “…this approach will be successful in securing further work in the region.”

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