Client: Agrium, Vanscoy Potash Operations,
ENGCOMP was retained by Agrium - Vanscoy Potash
Operations (Agrium) to conduct a steel audit of the structural
steel at the bottoms of their site's production and maintenance
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By the client's request, ENGCOMP was asked to
audit this structural steel as well as present the results in
a manner that designates the extent of deterioration, priority
for replacement and a general plan for replacement. By referring
to existing drawings of the steel, ENGCOMP performed multiple
site visits and compared the existing state of the structural
steel to the intended design on the as-built drawings. Discrepancies,
such as missing steel members and corroded steel shapes, were
recorded with sketches, photographs and notes. These discrepancies
were assembled and calculations were performed in order to determine
the order of priority for replacing structural members.
ENGCOMP worked closely with the client and other
service providers in order to perform the steel audit in an efficient
and effective manner. The results of the audit were intended to
give the client a firm understanding of the extent of any damage
or deterioration as well as a plan for replacing any necessary
- The structural steel at the bottom of both
shafts at Agrium's Vanscoy Potash Operations is subject to moisture,
chlorides and warm conditions which create extremely harsh conditions
for steel deterioration.
- The integrity of this steel poses a legitimate
safety concern and any problems should be identified prior to
a member failing which could cause damage to personnel and equipment.
- The client required a steel audit to identify
the severity of deterioration of structural steel members as
well as a priority of replacement based on this deterioration.
- ENGCOMP visited Agrium's site multiple times
and visually inspected each structural member comparing it to
its intended design state as per Agrium's as-built drawings.
- Discrepancies were recorded and measured
and compiled into a master list organized by logical area.
- Priority scores were given to each member
based on severity of deterioration, safety implications and
access requirements. These individual priority scores were also
grouped by area and an area priority score was calculated using
the average individual priority scores.
- These area priority scores gave the client
an indication of which areas should be focused on in the development
of a general replacement plan.
- The severity of deterioration score was determined
by calculating the reduced capacity of each member based on
actual versus original properties of the structural steel.
- The safety score was determined by estimating
the extent of damage or injury that could be potentially caused
by the member failing.
- The access priority score was determined
by discussing with the client the frequency of personnel access
to each area of structural steel.
- Project was awarded to ENGCOMP in March
- Project was completed in June 2007
- Project required nine site visits in order
to audit all of the underground shaft steel
- Agrium was satisfied with the execution
of this project and planned to use the priority system in considering
a steel replacement installation plan.
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