NSW Ports’ two-year project to rehabilitate the Bulk Liquids Berth 1 (BLB1) was completed in June 2021.
BLB1 has been operating since Port Botany opened in 1979. The $14 million rehabilitation project was commissioned to protect the pre-stressed concrete beams supporting the road and pipeline bridges to the berth. The installation of a Hybrid Anode Corrosion Protection system will protect the structures against the effects of the harsh marine environment for the foreseeable future. Work also included repair of dilapidated concrete, and the spraying of a silane coating on the concrete surface for additional protection.
The pre-stressed concrete beams had been exposed to the salty marine environment, and investigations had shown that the steel reinforcement and the pre-stressed steel strands inside the beams were at risk of corroding, which could cause sudden collapse.
The hazardous cargo handling operations on BLB1 requires all electrical systems on the berth to be intrinsically safe to meet the classified hazardous area requirements. A continuously run impressed current cathodic protection system was not feasible in this case, while a passive galvanic system would not be as effective. Instead a hybrid solution was designed where embedded anodes are energised for a short initial period only and thereafter are left to provide an effective galvanic protection.
Project works were carefully planned to enable safe works to take place during hazardous cargo handling and shipping operations at BLB1, and hot works to take place during intensive berth shut-down periods. The project was completed without unplanned disruption to shipping or cargo handling operations.
The Hybrid Anode Corrosion Protection system installed at the BLB1 utilises nearly 35,000 galvanic anodes embedded into the concrete beams to provide protection against corrosion and utilises a smart control system with remote monitoring and control capability. The last stage of works included the energising of the anodes for a period of approximately 120 days after which the power source was switched off and the system turned to its galvanic protection mode.
A state-of-the art remote monitoring system with web-based software provided allows NSW Ports and its service providers to monitor and record every zone of the Hybrid Anode Corrosion Protection system to analyse performance, and to respond to any alerts.
The completion of this vital project will ensure BLB1 remains reliable and available to handle New South Wales’ bulk liquid trade volumes for the foreseeable future. NSW Ports is committed to sustainably developing and maintaining its port assets, to facilitate an efficient port supply chain.
Port Botany is NSW’s primary bulk liquid and gas port, handling 99% of bitumen imports, 98% of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) imports, 90% of bulk chemical imports, 30% of refined petroleum fuels and 15% of NSW’s aviation fuel requirements.
NSW Ports would like to thank durability consultants Infracorr and principal contractor Freyssinet, and the bulk liquid and gas operators at Port Botany for their collaboration around the required shutdown periods.
Project key statistics
- $14 million project cost.
- 76,000 total labour hours completed (including principal contractor, site management, administrative work and client side project management).
- 35,000 total anodes installed.
- 200 persons inducted through NSW Ports contractor management system Rapid Global for working at the BLB.
- 900 safety observations and 2 emergency exercises.
- 25 months of construction time to complete within the live 24/7 shipping operations with no unplanned disruption to shipping operations.
- ‘Chased’ over 12kms of length into very high strength (70MPa) marine grade concrete to install electrical cables embedded within the structures.
- Inspection, steel augmentation and concrete repairs to 6850m2 of structures.