Threading The Needle: Precision Boring Required For Project At Underground LPG Storage Facility

September 2011, Vol. 66 No. 9

During the more than 40 years since Arvid Veidmark Jr. founded Specialized Services Company (SSC) a leading trenchless installation contractor based in Phoenix — members of the Veidmark family have celebrated many accomplishments. They now have another success story to attach to the list of firsts on the company’s well-documented resume.

Although some of the faces have changed at SSC since 1969, the vision of the founding Veidmark -- to provide a valuable service to the community -- is still very much intact today, evidenced by the vision and dedication of wife Marcia, along with sons Arvid III, Aaron and Abe. SSCs recognition, and much of the company’s success for that matter, can be attributed to a close-knit family committed to embracing new and innovative underground technologies. Most recently, a laser-guided boring system was used to complete a delicate trenchless installation for Plains Midstream Canada.

Faster fill flow
Project owner Plains Midstream Canada, headquartered in Houston, is involved in crude oil transportation, gathering, marketing, terminals and storage as well as marketing and storage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Plains Midstream selected SSC to install sleeves at three locations to accommodate a new line being added to the underground infrastructure used to load and unload LPG from tankers and railcars at the Bumstead facility, an underground LPG storage cavern located along the Interstate 10 corridor between Phoenix and Los Angeles.

Situated some 2,000 feet underground at the juncture of a major rail line and tanker truck transit point, the 133-million gallon facility is composed of three underground salt-dome storage caverns, a 24-car rail rack and three truck racks on the surface with the capability to unload six trucks simultaneously. To expedite the loading and unloading of tankers and railcars more quickly, Plains Midstream installed an additional 6-inch high-pressure gas line.

The component of the project awarded to SSC involved installing six separate 12-inch steel casing sleeves with a 3/8-inch wall thickness, at three separate locations. Abe Veidmark, vice president of the auger division for SSC, explains the challenges faced and the decision to use an innovative approach for completing these intricate bores.

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