Private and public sectors are continuing to build new projects to address outdated infrastructure issues; but with cost effective requirements at the forefront of project plans. ConocoPhillips is choosing to begin a new construction project to protect against the weather in a stormy economy. Crane Materials International is providing innovative building materials to meet their needs and stand the test of time.
ConocoPhillips’ Alliance Refinery, in Bell Chase, Louisiana, processes 247,000 barrels a day and employs an estimated 400 locals. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana taking lives, homes and livelihood, the facility was drowning six feet of water halting operations for a period of time. Repairs to restore the facility continued for 220 days after the storm. ConocoPhillips was determined to protect itself from future operational shutdown which could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses and jeopardize the nation’s fuel supply. After careful consideration engineers determined a 6,500 linear foot retaining wall which met FEMA standards of holding back 8 feet of water was necessary. In 2009, amidst a sluggish economy, ground was broke to protect the financial well-being of ConocoPhillips.
The best product for this scenario, CMI’s SG-950 Vinyl Sheet Piling with XCR Technology, also happened to be the most cost effective option. One may think that a concrete or steel wall would be the most likely option to solve ConocoPhillips’ impending issue. However, steel did not meet the project specifications for several reasons, most importantly the fact that Vinyl Sheet Piling costs 40% – 60% less than other conventional building materials.
The manufacturing of vinyl has come a long way since invention in 1926: Vinyl is now the second most produced plastic in the world. CMI’s SG-950 Vinyl Sheet Piling with XCR technology is unlike any other. The SR-950 is not only the world’s strongest and longest Vinyl Sheet Piling in world, but it is also made of 92% recycled material keeping the carbon footprint of the material at a minimum. The patented XCR Technology coats the recycled material protecting against weather and UV damage. It is the only product on the market that can guarantee long life cycle, weatherability and minimal to no maintenance required; all qualities that made vinyl the choice over other conventional building materials such as concrete or steel. In just 20% of the time it took to repair the damages from Hurricane Katrina, ConocoPhillips had a new retaining wall protecting its’ facility. Efficient operations during construction placed 200 linear feet of wall per day leading to a completed project in about 45 days.
Located on the Mississippi River, 25 miles south of New Orleans and only 50 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, Alliance Refinery is sure to face more storms in the future; However, the recent one-mile of CMI flood wall installed has given them confidence without compromising in order to be cost efficient. Refinery Manager Chris Chandler commented, “Alliance has a strong hurricane plan…I am proud of the diligent work our employees have done to shelter Alliance from future storms…”
Faced with future hurricanes, cost concerns, construction issues and FEMA mandated levels of flood water, ConocoPhillips is relying on CMI Sheet Piling to help protect their critically valuable asset for many years to come.