SPG Customizes Access Solutions for Three Texas LNG Tank Projects

The Special Projects Group (SPG) and Hydro Rents, two divisions of Canadian-owned AGF Access Group Inc., were selected by Structural Technologies, LLC./VSL to provide equipment for work on three liquified natural gas tanks in Corpus Christ and Quintana.


The Special Projects Group (SPG) and Hydro Rents, two divisions of Canadian-owned AGF Access Group Inc., were selected by Structural Technologies, LLC./VSL to provide equipment for work on three liquified natural gas (LNG) tanks located in Corpus Christi (the Cheniere Energy LNG project), and Quintana (the Freeport LNG project), just outside of the Houston metro area in Texas.

Through the use of customized Hydro-Mobile F Series and S Series mastclimbers, the jobs were completed on time and with proficiency, while improving the safety and productivity of its customers. LNG concrete storage tanks contain natural methane gas. Texas alone produced 27% of total U.S. marketed gas production during 2015, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency. Each of the tanks on the Texas projects holds 30 million gallons of LNG, stands approximately 140 ft tall and boasts a 185 ft diameter.

Structural Technologies/VSL required a specialized access solution to install and tension steel post tension cables at four vertical concrete buttresses that anchored the tendons, each wrapping halfway around the tanks. The Hydro-Mobile mastclimbers allowed the team to install the steel cables, use hydraulic jacks to stress the tendons, and fill the ducts with cement grout. The platforms were used for three operations, including the installation of the post tension strands, stressing the strands, and grouting work.

The Cheniere Energy LNG project, located in Corpus Christi, was in need of a safe and efficient way to access the buttresses of two tanks during their post-tensioning activities. Structural Technologies/VSL needed four mastclimbers to simultaneously operate for a year, and two additional ones for another five months, capable of working at an offset elevation on each side of the buttress with heavy loads, with speed to quickly reach the full 140 ft height, and jib arms on the platform to support hydraulic jacks.

The solution was a custom Hydro-Mobile’s F300 Series: a fast unit, capable of travelling at 38’/min, up to 12,000 lbs of capacity that can be split into two work platforms, each travelling independently on one side of the mast. Each platform had two integrated custom jib arms that were able to hold a 1,000 lb hydraulic jack apiece.

The Freeport LNG project located in Quintana, Texas, also required a safe and productive means of access during its post-tensioning activities on the buttress of its LNG tank. Electrical mast climbing work platforms were required to gain access to each buttress located along the circumference of the LNG tank. For this project, Hydro-Mobile’s S Series was the right choice. It’s also a fast unit, travelling at 30’/min, with high capacity up to 10,800 lbs.

“These were challenging projects. Both were big and very tall for concrete tanks. There was a great deal of other work happening around us and the mast climbers provided a stable work environment.” said Benjamin Forbes, Senior Project Manager, Structural Technologies/VSL. “SPG was great to work with. Any time there was an issue with the equipment, they quickly addressed it. They were always timely in their responses. Their solution offered quality, safety and was a great option for the extra capacity. It was a practical and efficient solution.”

"Not many companies have the ability to work on specialized projects such as these,” said Rick Harland, General Manager, Hydro-Rents Virginia. “With SPG's customized engineering and Hydro-Rents’ installation and support staff in the field, there isn't a project that the AGF Access Group cannot handle." Randy Tuinder, General Manager, Hydro Rents Colorado added: “I am excited to be a part of a group that can provide tailored solutions with in-house engineering and manufacturing while supporting all projects across the market place.”  “AGF Access Group’s wide range of unique access solutions allowed us to meet Structural Technologies’ needs. We helped to keep the project on time, and always with safety in mind,” said Alex Di Domenico, General Manager, SPG. “We specialize in custom solutions, sometimes ones that require extreme access for challenging projects.”