For the first time in the South Gobi of Mongolia, an international standard airport complex is being constructed. The airport development project, Khanbumbat, is funded by Oyu Tolgoi and guided by renowned Construction Management Company Fluor. Arts Suvarga, the primary construction contractor, and ACH Services, the design company, will employ over 500 Mongolians on a daily basis for the project. The airport, capable of receiving Boeing 737 Aircraft and C 130, will consist of an all Mongolian designed and built Passenger Terminal Building, Air Traffic Control Tower and Fire Services facility. The Khanbumbat airport site will also boast the single largest piece of concrete to be poured in the Gobi, if not Mongolia.
The challenge of paving 85,000m3 of concrete in 90 days to an international standard in the Gobi desert, is as extreme as the Gobi environment itself. In order to meet the challenge and ensure success, Oyu Tolgoi and Fluor, in consultation with Arts Suvraga, will be introducing a cutting edge piece of technology to Mongolia - a ‘Paving Train’. This technology will reduce the timing of the colossal paving project from years to months.
The ‘Paving Train’, supplied by GOMACO of Ida Grove, Iowa, USA, is the first of its kind in Mongolia. This 2.5 million MNT investment by Oyu Tolgoi represents a commitment to deliver the airport on schedule, using all Mongolian labour and the latest technology. Oyu Tolgoi has also invested heavily in training and has brought GOMACO representatives to Mongolia to educate Arts Suvraga’s employees in the operation and maintenance of this new specialized technology.
There are three separate machines in the ‘Paving Train’, a Placer (PS-2600), a Paver (GP-2400) and a Texturing Machine (TC-400). These three separate machines follow each other much like a train on a track, and can pave up to 7.5m wide slabs, in a continuous strip, using what is known as a slip form method. The Paving Train will pave just under a meter of concrete with 44cm thickness a minute.
On 6 July, Oyu Tolgoi will host a visit from various delegates of the Mongolian Specialized Inspection Authority, Mongolian Civil Airlines Authority and the Mongolian Ministry of Roads. The delegates will visit the airport development process and witness firsthand the operational capabilities of the ‘Paving Train’.
Currently, Arts Suvraga have paved the Apron and Taxiway, and have just commenced paving activities on the Runway. Once complete, the runway will be over 3km long, representing nearly three years of work, and a great achievement by all Mongolian companies involved. The airport development project is scheduled to be completed by October 2012.
(Source: Oyu Tolgoi)