The Tabreed Northshore District Cooling project, for which Atkins is lead consultant and construction supervisor, has reached a major milestone with the completion of two 87-metre micro-tunnels underneath the King Faisal Highway.
The parallel 900mm diameter insulated carbon steel pipes carry district cooling water from the Diplomatic Area chiller plant to Bahrain Financial Harbour, Reef Island and other northshore developments.
The Diplomatic Area chiller plant, which is nearing completion, has been designed to incorporate significant capacity for future growth. It will supply chilled water to the Atkins-designed Bahrain World Trade Center, among other developments on the south side of King Faisal Highway.
The project is the first of its kind in Bahrain and will provide a network of chilled water and cooling to Manama’s densely populated urban areas, significantly reducing the cost of providing air-conditioning to offices, residential towers and shopping malls. Air conditioning is a major component of energy usage and analysts estimate that nearly 70% of all energy within the Gulf region is used for cooling buildings.
At a depth of more than 10 metres below ground, the new tunnels were driven below the highway with zero impact on the heavy traffic above. Both were driven at an average rate of close to six metres per day and using a laser guidance system the team achieved driving tolerances within ± 20mm in each tunnel.
Using a Herrenknecht micro-tunnelling machine Al Husam International and Atkins demonstrated on behalf of Tabreed District Cooling that chilled water piping systems can be quickly and efficiently installed beneath a city centre with virtually no disruption to the busy street life above.
Atkins’ Site Operations Manager, Ian Cordingley, expressed his appreciation of the work undertaken by the team. “It’s not easy to drill through 86-metres of earth with such little disturbance to the surroundings. The team did a fantastic job in ensuring we deliver a chilled water network that will make the cooling of developments in Manama more economical and help in reducing Bahrain’s carbon footprint.”
It is anticipated that Tabreed’s Northshore District Cooling project will be completed this summer and will supply 22,800 metric tonnes of chilled water per day to a growing population.