COMPANY NEWS Norwegian expansion for BASF Mar 2011
Jon Ola Stokke, Business Line Manager, BASF
- Under an investment of almost €1 million, BASF Construction Chemicals has built a new production plant for admixtures at its factory at Granerud in Nord-Odal, Norway. The new plant will produce alkali-free accelerators to meet a strong growth in demand following launch of a new environmentally friendly alkali-free accelerator for sprayed concrete at the beginning of 2010. The investment anticipates future volume demand as well as improving BASF competitiveness in the Norwegian market and enabling a higher level of service and product availability The company will also take on more staff starting with three new employees to operate the new plant, which is to be operational in the first quarter of 2011.
New plant will produce alkali-free accelerators
- The move is in response to growing demand in Scandinavia for the full range of BASF services including sprayed concrete admixtures, injection products and specialized spraying equipment, many of which are developed specially for the Scandinavian drill+blast market.
- On the equipment side, the truck mounted MEYCO Roadrunner is a mobile unit that holds all the components and accessories necessary for high capacity sprayed concrete production and the flexibility and mobility to move easily between different tunnel headings. It can be powered during operation by the on-site electric supply or by its own diesel engine. Roadrunners can be equipped with either of three MEYCO Booms: the Robojet, the Compacta or the Maxima boom with its huge reach.
- Three MEYCO Roadrunners, the largest machines in the portfolio of MEYCO Global Underground Construction, were sold at the end of 2010 and will be delivered this summer.
- The new alkali-free accelerator was a quantum leap ahead of earlier products within the category. The product increases the early strength of the applied sprayed concrete lining, reduces the risk of collapse, and increases safety for those working in the tunnel. At the same time it reduces the dust created during sprayed concrete application and replaces some of the hazardous substances that were previously used in the production of this type of product. As well as creating a better working environment and reducing the health risks to production employees, it also extends the lifetime of the spray equipment being used.
- BASF has patented the product in many countries. Its composition of raw materials present safety benefits during manufacture and provide customers with improved setting and strength development thanks to the 'ions' and resulting chemical complexes in the accelerator.
A Roadrunner spraying system working in the Toven road tunnel
- The new accelerator is being used in virtually all projects where MEYCO Global Underground Construction is involved. Whenever an unusually early strength of the sprayed concrete is required, in situations where the geology of the substrate makes it likely that a large quantity of rock may fall quickly from newly-excavated walls, the high performance features of the additive become a crucial factor. This is appreciated in many projects, such as the new 10.6km x 50m2 Toven tunnel on the new road project between Holand and Leireosen in Nordland County, close to Sandnessjoen.
- A 36,000m3 of sprayed concrete will be applied before its completion in October 2013. With 500m of overburden, the likelihood of rock bursts and falling rock increases the requirement for high early-strength sprayed concrete.
- Dr Wolfgang Aldrian, Head of Technical Management at MEYCO Global Underground Construction, has monitored enthusiasm for the product among customers in Norway. "In my 25 years in the tunnel construction business, I have never seen such excellent on site strength development".
- With a general increase in focus on health and the environment within the tunnelling sector, BASF is keen to continue using considerable research and development resources to offer the market demand for 'green' products.
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