Angola is firmly established as a global hub of the hydrocarbon industry, with conservative estimates putting the country’s oil reserves at around 10 billion barrels.
Tata Steel’s contract for the Malongo Terminal Oil Export Pipeline project (MTOE) involved highly efficient production and delivery of line pipe, as well as setting up a concrete coating plant in the West African nation of Angola.
Fulfilling this order required Tata Steel to work collaboratively with Socotherm Angola to install the country’s first concrete weight coating facility.
This ambitious project was an integral part of a broader contract involving the supply, coating and shipment of substantial volumes of line pipe and related equipment to the offshore lay contractor.
A partnership was formed to develop the Malongo Terminal Oil Export Pipeline project (MTOE) in Block 0 concession at water depths ranging from 100 to 120 feet. The pipeline was used to export two crude oil blends from an existing jetty at the shoreline to two new deep water loading berths.
- 32.5km 36” (914mm) outside diameter Grade B submerged arc welded (SAW) steel line pipe
- 32.5km 42” (1067mm) outside diameter grade X52 SAW steel line pipe
- External fusion bonded epoxy (FBE) anti-corrosion coating
- Concrete weight coating
- Supply and installation of 112 bracelet aluminium alloy anodes on the offshore line pipe
- Twenty-six 42” OD induction bends (12 with FBE coating)
- One 42” OD FBE/Splashtron™ coated riser pipe (jetty riser section with splash zone protection)
The Malongo Terminal Oil Export Pipeline project (MTOE), involved not only the production and delivery of line pipe, but also the setting up of a concrete coating plant in the West African country of Angola.
Today, 90% of Angola’s export revenues are generated by the country’s substantial oil reserves, estimated at around 10 billion barrels.
Driving local economic growth
In order to drive economic development, many companies are setting up in-country operations, using local resources and labour to stimulate regional growth, ease logistical issues and strengthen relations.
Ensuring the highest health and safety standards were maintained throughout the project was of the utmost importance. With the plant operating on two-day shifts, 200 jobs were created, including:
- Logistics workers
- Plant operators
- Inspection staff
Ensuring health and safety for local workers
This diverse range of positions meant a wide variety and high level of training was necessary. This involved:
- Rigorous training inductions for every employee
- ‘Toolbox talks’ to educate staff in creating and maintaining a safer working environment
Managing shipping and transport issues
The new plant was situated on land being reclaimed from the sea, adjacent to the port area. As the road infrastructure was still being redeveloped following a civil war, shipping was the most widely used method for importing components and materials. This meant:
- The port was extremely busy, with a limited number of berths
- Each shipment had to be carefully planned to ensure the project went ahead with minimal delay
Many materials required for the plant construction and concrete coating were not available locally, creating a need to work with the customer and suppliers to ensure goods could pass as easily as possible through customs.
Meeting concrete coating challenges
Concrete coating pipes can often prove complex. In Angola, there were additional challenges such as:
- Dealing with Luanda’s heat and humidity which affects the moisture content of concrete
- Effectively managing the curing process and ensuring the demanding specifications were met