Fugro has successfully completed a seven-year Super Typhoon Project providing integrated geo-structural consultancy services to CLP Power HK Ltd. (CLP) a key Asia-Pacific energy investor and operator.
For over 100 years, CLP has powered Hong Kong’s dynamic and spectacular growth by delivering a highly reliable supply of electricity to over 80% of the city’s population.
The climate of Hong Kong is sub-tropical and between the months of May and November the region can be affected by tropical cyclones. Every year, Hong Kong is typically affected by 4 to 8 tropical cyclones reaching typhoon strength - a sustained wind speed of over 118 km/h. However, changes in global weather patterns brings with it an increasing potential for ‘super typhoons’ at a maximum sustained wind speed of 185 km/h or above, with wind gusts of up to 300 km/h, which pose a risk to the overhead power supply lines across Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China.
The Super Typhoon Project aimed to mitigate the potential risks of super typhoon damage to CLP’s overhead lines (OHL) transmission network in order to ensure the stability of the electrical transmission network and to maintain power supply.
Fugro was appointed in late 2009 by CLP to carry out engineering consultancy services to assess the asset integrity of over 200 CLP Towers (pylons) in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. This included the engineering design and supervision of slope and foundation upgrades. It also included structural strengthening works to mitigate the potential risks of super typhoons. The Super Typhoon Project was successfully completed in February 2017.
CLP Power is grateful to have Fugro’s professional support to the Super Typhoon project in making ready our power grids to withstand any challenge from the threat of super typhoons.
Keith Chan, Director of Engineering Projects Department, CLP Power HK Ltd
Tony Wan, Fugro Project Manager said: “Fugro is very proud to have worked with CLP on this challenging project and to support CLP in its mission to service the Hong Kong community.”
Fugro collaborated with structural strengthening design engineers and provided services for the planning, design and statutory supervision of the strengthening of the tower foundations and slope upgrades, structural improvements to the steel gantry and cable troughs and integrated geo-structural integrity works.
Lewis Cheung, Regional Service Line Manager, Land Geoconsulting Asia-Pacific said: “Geoconsulting is an integral part of Fugro’s offer. Fugro can operate a complete project cycle, from early stage studies to decommissioning. We work as a development partner with our clients and our emphasis is on problem solving through the provision of best practice, innovative and unbiased advice.”
Challenging project requirements
Stringent health, safety and environment practices were required to ensure the safety of all personnel and operations while undertaking the site inspections and upgrades on and around live overhead network transmission lines. The Fugro team, from front-line site personnel to managers, worked closely with CLP on HSSE issues, together implementing the necessary safety rules, procedures and mitigations measures and training.
Many of the transmission towers are located on the remote mountain regions of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, with no access roads. In some instances, a two-hour hike to the location was required meaning that the health and fitness of personnel was a key requirement for the inspection and site supervision activities.
Helicopters were used for the movement of materials and equipment to the site. Cargo capacity was limited and flying hours were restricted for safety reasons. Careful planning was required to meet the Client’s project schedule and the programme completion date.
The weather in Hong Kong during the summer and autumn months includes high temperatures, high humidity, heavy rain, lightning storms and typhoons. The weather provided project challenges which were successfully managed.
CLP also only permitted very limited electrical outages. The construction work and OHL line refurbishments were therefore completed in sections to minimise the time that the transmission network was de-energised. And, supervisors had to go through a rigorous and intensive training schedule to be meet the required guidelines.
To mark the completion of the historic seven-year project a ‘Last Bolt’ ceremony was held on 28 February 2017. The project involved a unique method of strengthening the towers while keeping the structure intact and fully functional during the entire course of the upgrade.
“CLP Power is grateful to have Fugro’s professional support to the Super Typhoon project in making ready our power grids to withstand any challenge from the threat of super typhoons,” said Keith Chan, Director of Engineering Projects Department, CLP Power HK Ltd. “Together we maintain a safe and reliable electricity supply for Hong Kong and enhance public safety at large.”