A similar project, carried out previously by RBL-REI.
RBL-REI selected as main contractor for 23km coal conveyor line for Russia’s EMCO mine in Sakhalin.
The France-based company RBL-REI, renowned worldwide for the design, manufacturing and construction of overland belt conveyors with technical complexities, is still proving its skills and capabilities for such challenging works.
The company’s next project will be in Russia, in Sakhalin. This island is the country’s largest island and is located in the Far East. Sakhalin ranks ninth in Russia for coal extraction*. The Eastern Mining Company (EMCO) is in charge of the production and export of coal. Most of the coal produced is exported, mainly to Korea, China, Japan, and the Philippines.
According to the results of the competition, EMCO has chosen RBL-REI, as the contractor for the construction of the 23km main conveyor’s line for coal extraction. The contract for manufacturing, delivery and construction supervision of the corresponding equipment was signed in Moscow in February 2019.
The coal conveyor line in the Uglegorsky district in the Sakhalin region will be the longest in Russia. It will connect the key mining asset of EMCO’s Solntsevsky coal mine with the coal seaport Shakhtersk. According to the company's global development strategy, the construction of the conveyor is one of the key measures to further increase the production and export shipment of coal from the current 7.5mt (million tonnes) at the end of 2018 to 20mt after 2022.
The achieved flowrate will be 4,200tph (tonnes per hour), with a 2,000mm-wide belt running at 5.5m/s powered by 8,000kW for each of the two main segments.
Currently, RBL-REI is starting to manufacture equipment. Meanwhile, the customer has already started preparatory and general construction works, namely the vertical layout of the conveyor route and earthworks. The installation of foundations will soon begin. It is planned to complete the construction of the facility in 2021. The total cost of the project is tentatively estimated at 7.8 billion rubles.
The project is supported by federal and regional authorities and is being implemented in the freeport of Vladivostok. “The main coal conveyor in the Uglegorsky district will become one of the most modern not only in Russia, but also in the world. The launch of the facility will significantly reduce the load on the district's roads and have a positive impact on the environment, since the conveyor will be covered throughout its entire length. The project will create additional high-tech jobs and significantly increase tax deductions to the regional and municipal budgets.” said Oleg Misevra, Chairman of the Board of Directors of EMCO.
Misevra added,: “Implementing this project, we put the economy and the environment at the forefront. Road transport of coal is really quite expensive. We pay $4–5 per tonne transported. The conveyor will reduce the cost below $1 per tonne. It turns out that we win $3–4 per tonne. Based on the volume of traffic even at 10mt per year, the conveyor will save at least $30 million per year.”
The conveyor is a complex and very responsible engineering structure. It consists of three segments, two of which have numerous horizontal and vertical radii. The longest segment is about 13km long. The conveyor route crosses numerous roads, water barriers, and power lines. All intersections are co-ordinated with local supervisory authorities and must meet not only international, but also Russian-specific, norms and standards. Thus, about 10km are raised above the ground and pass by trestles, bridges or conveyor gallery with special load-bearing trusses. The longest spans are 82m (crossing the road) and 64m (crossing the river), respectively.
It should be noted that Sakhalin Island is a zone with a seismicity of up to 9 points (MSK-64 scale). Construction in such areas requires special calculations and strengthening of all structures taking into account seismic loads.
In addition, the climatic conditions at the construction site of the conveyor are quite severe: in winter, intense precipitation and snowstorms are typical, and the equipment is designed to operate at temperatures from –40° to +40° Celsius. The maximum wind speed can reach up to 40m/sec. During the year, 1,100–1,700mm of precipitation falls. A third of precipitation falls during the cold period, sometimes in the form of heavy snowfalls and sleet. Characterized by frequent and long-lasting snowstorm with strong drifts. Due to the difficult climatic conditions, it was decided to cover not only the belt, but also transfer towers and the rooms of the drive groups.
Before a construction permit is obtained, the project must pass a state examination and receive a positive conclusion. The equipment shall be certified and subject to declaration of compliance with the regulations on safety of machinery and equipment of the customs Union of the member States of the Eurasian economic Union (EEU).
In total, it is expected to ship more than 1,000 40ft sea containers with equipment from Europe and China in 2020–2021.
For RBL-REI, the project is a priority. Its implementation involves the most experienced employees of its own design office and all technical services in France, its own metalwork plant in China, as well as the company's own office in Russia (Moscow).