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New platform for Mexican oil and gas field Ku-Maloob-Zaap

The oil and gas field Ku-Maloob-Zaap (KMZ), which covers a total area of around 121 km², is situated in the bay of Campeche, 105 km north-east of the city of Ciudad del Carmen. In 2019, a new gas compressor platform named CA-KU-A1 was added to the oil and gas production complex that is located there.

The new expansion platform CA-KU-A1 was erected at the Dragados Offshore shipyard in Altamira, Tamaulipas, before being shipped out to sea in September 2019. The station’s mandate is to increase gas production within the hub of the KMZ field off the Mexican coast.

Platform weighs 23,900 t

The platform, which weighs around 23,900 t, has a compression capacity of 450 Million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). In the “topside”, the main core of the platform, sour gas from three surrounding platforms is collected, cleaned and compressed by the compressor unit developed by Dragados. The station is securely anchored to the seabed using what is known as a jacket. Two bridges connect the station to the rest of the KMZ field; they are supported by two tripods.

On the one hand, the “ALPHAKIT” Tower served as a shoring tower for the tripods; on the other hand, it provided an access point for the construction workers. The working platform attached to the tower was used to carry out additional installations, such as those associated with the exhaust systems. Pre-assembly of the shoring towers was carried out on the ground and by hand. This was a quick and efficient process due to the low number of lightweight components involved. A crane was not required until the erection stage.

For erecting the complex platform, a versatile, adaptable scaffolding solution was required. With the aid of the modular scaffolding system, it was possible to erect safe working platforms even at great heights. Being able to change the direction of the decks within the scaffold bays at will made it possible to build round obstructions such as pipelines or load-bearing constructions. This meant that work surfaces were almost completely free of gaps with no height differences or trip hazards.

The continuous metric system grid consisting of 25 cm increments paved the way for a construction consisting largely of suspended working platforms made up of UDG Steel Decks. Scaffold tubes and couplings were used to fix these to the steel girders of the platform.

Safe access for numerous workers

Stair towers with alternating staircase units were installed at two corners of the platform in order to provide access to the first level of the main station. The staircase not only provided site personnel with short walking distances between levels, but also significant head clearance. With a live load of 40 kN, it was perfectly equipped to support up to 50 people at one time. As such, up to 500 workers could climb or leave the platform within 30 to 60 minutes without any issues, depending on the shift.

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