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Menard Oceania finishes Vopak groundworks contract

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Meenal Datar

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Australian design and construct geotechnical specialist Menard Oceania has completed ground improvements works for the construction of three, 30 m fuel storage tanks at Vopak’s terminal in Sydney, Australia.

Vopak announced in July 2019 that it would expand the capacity at its Sydney terminal by 105,000 m3. The new tanks are expected to be commissioned in Q2 2021.

Menard says that it takes a different approach to designing the foundations for fuel tanks. Differential settlement of the ground must be overcome to limit movement that could interfere with a tank’s operation. Menard seeks to allow total settlement to occur and control differential settlement, and provide the necessary stable foundation. The company says this relaxed approach allows an optimised foundation to be achieved.

Jonathan Hale, Menard’s business development manager for WA/NSW/NZ, explains: ‘Given their need for close proximity to ports, tank farms are frequently developed where soils are deep and compressible, which creates geotechnical challenges. As a result of our strategy to not eliminate settlement but treat the ground conditions and deliver an appropriate settlement to an agreed performance criterion, Menard is able to provide savings to both program and cost to foundation construction as compared with conventional deep piling systems.

The main contractor building the tanks is Saunders. Menard has also completed other projects in the Port Botany area, where the Vopak terminal is situated, including a ground improvement works next to the Vopak site as part of Sydney Port Authority’s expansion of Port Botany, and the grouting for the Elgas Underground Storage Facility, Australia’s first LPG facility.

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