Pile driving in permafrost
Construction of Sabetta Port on the Yamal Peninsula in Russia
The shore of the Ob Estuary on the Yamal Peninsula is home to huge repositories of natural gas. The Russian Federation decided to construct the Sabetta Port here in the northernmost part of the country with the aim of exploiting this fuel source. According to the plan, large quantities of natural gas will be cooled down into liquefied natural gas (LNG) directly on site and then transported to Europe, Asia, and America on special ships.
A particular challenge in executing the project was having to carry out the work in permafrost conditions: the ground below a depth of half a meter was frozen. That’s where we were able to beat out the competition with a clear advantage. All of the other vibrators offered by our competitors needed an apparatus to be built, in which the equipment would be preheated to working temperature. Special diesel guns that used a lot of fuel were needed to heat the air. Our equipment, by contrast, required no preheating because right from the plant they were designed to operate in extreme conditions.
müller MS-200 HFV vibrators with müller MS-A 1050V power packs were used in this project. The work was carried out right at the edge of the water – so our machines stood directly on the surface of the ice, which was more than two meters thick at that point. The dockside piles were driven directly into the frozen port water. Before the actual driving work began, workers drilled into the ice to a depth of 1.5 meters and melted it with steam. The entire project was completed on time despite the extreme conditions. In December 2017 the first gas tanker arrived at the new port.