The engineering team behind the project tells us how Ximeca, our French partner, utilises a Bolina boom on an electricity plant project in Corsica.
Earlier this year, our partner in France, Ximeca, was approached by EDF, the French multinational electric utility company, to carry out a project in Corsica, at the OCANA Dam. The Ximeca team were asked to provide and install a Bolina PDB600 boom, to protect the water intake of an electricity plant from waste including leaves, branches, and logs.
As per EDF’s requirements, the boom must rise up to 5.7 metres and be able to withstand flow rates of up to 400m3/s – the equivalent of a 100-year flood. As part of the contract, Ximeca had to provide engineering studies of a solution, supply such a boom, and then install the entire system, including anchor parts.
In order to carry out this project, numerical models were established to accurately determine what sort of force will be applied on the boom by hydraulic flow in different cases – this includes normal scenarios, a ten-year flood, a hundred-year flood and so on. Other numerical models were also established to ensure that the anchor parts will be strong enough in these different scenarios. Furthermore, Ximeca’s team furnished the client with detailed drawings to explain the design of the solution and how it works.
Executing the project
The EDF order for the project was received at the end of May 2020 by the Ximeca team. Studies were carried out during the months of June and July 2020, while we, at Bolina, began the supply of materials by the beginning of September 2020. We supplied a boom of 60 metres in length.
The deadline for the installation was by the end of October 2020, but Ximeca’s team, working in tandem with us and their subcontractor, managed to complete the installation by early October.
While the project team says there were no major challenges during the execution phase, they still had to overcome certain relatively minor obstacles – this includes the drilling of four boreholes in the water, at a depth of two metres.
In addition, the downstream anchor was a heavy piece of equipment, weighing nearly 700 kilograms. As there was no easy access to install it, a crane arm truck had to be deployed to manoeuvre it into place, which posed some interesting questions, the team says.
However, the Ximeca team states that what ensured the success of the project was the collaboration and planning that went into the delivery. With the client asking for a lot of technical and engineering information during the project, it was essential that the engineering team be a part of the planning and delivery process, they explain.
While it is too early to compare performance pre- and post-installation, the PDB600 Bolina boom was chosen because of its ability to protect a water intake, whether upstream or downstream. Most of the waste has been stopped or diverted by the boom, with the client reporting good feedback, the Ximeca team says.
“We will have to wait until this winter when the water flow is higher. We are convinced that at least 70 percent of all the waste will be diverted away,” they assert.
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