Equipment India | June 2008

Site Report

Creating Milestones
Metso Minerals lends its expertise and technology to the critical 4.5 km runway, the longest and widest in Asia. An exclusive report.

The GMR Group has entered into a consortium with Fraport AG, Europe’s largest cargo hub and second largest passenger airport, Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, the owners and managers of Frankfurt Airport, and the India Development Fund, an IDF AMC-managed fund, to bid for the restructuring and modernisation of the Delhi and Mumbai airports. The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) is a consortium of the GMR Group (50.1 per cent), Airports Authority of India (26 per cent), Fraport and Eraman Malaysia (10 per cent each) and IDF (3.9 per cent). GMR is the lead member of the consortium; Fraport AG will be the airport operator and IDF, the financial investors.

Besides upgrading the existing termi¬nals, work on constructing a new runway and an integrated passenger terminal T3 is on schedule. The first phase of the airport is designed to handle 37 million passengers per annum (mppa); this phase will be completed by 31st March 2010 and will be fully operational before the Commonwealth Games. Besides the passenger terminal, additional runways will accommodate growth in air traffic. Ultimately, the project aims to achieve an ultimate capacity of 100 mppa.
Terminal 3 will feature 55 aerobri-dges (six of these aerobridges will be compatible for the Airbus A380) and
30 remote parking bays for passenger embarkation and disembarkation. As per plan, 90 per cent of all passenger traffic at T3 is to be handled via aerobridges by 2010.

Significant milestone
Alongside several important milestones set to be crossed by 2008, a new Code F runway, measuring 4430 m in length and equipped with CAT IIIB ILS is top of the agenda. This runway will be the third at the Delhi airport and will be capable of handling next generation aircraft, such as the A380. In later phases, another runway will be built and the existing secondary runway, 09-27, will be realigned to form a fourth parallel runway that caters to the growth in passenger and air traffic.

A new domestic terminal is also set to be operational with a capacity of 10 mppa. The existing international terminal, Terminal 2, will be modernised and upgraded by 2008. The cargo operations will continue in their present location and will be expanded; subsequently, it will move to a new and larger facility at another location. Access to the new terminal will be via a six-lane road connecting to NH8. The Airport will also have a dedicated Metro line connecting it to the city centre. This line is being part-funded by DIAL.

Partners in growth
In December 2006, the consortium led by GMR awarded Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) the contract for design and construction of the terminal, runway and associated works of Delhi Airport. The project is valued around Rs. 5, 400 crore and will bring into being the most modern airport in recent times, completed in the shortest duration possible. The runway was completed by the end of the first quarter of 2008 and the trial runs have recently concluded.

“The quality of aggregates for the runway has to be of the highest quality. The properties largely constitute wear-resistance, polish value and a combined index for flakiness and elongation below 30 per cent. Our past experience with Metso Minerals equipment in the Hyderabad International Airport project led us to strongly recommend them to our partner L&T. All critical technology and equipment are jointly discussed amongst us and we felt that the premium quality required for the runway could be ensured only by Metso,” said K K Shivakumar, Head Procurement, Delhi International Airport Limited.

Shivakumar elaborated, “The time line for Delhi Airport is crucial and we do not want any compromise on the pace of build- up. The aggregate currently being used for the expansion is broadly categorised into two sectors, the optimum cost aggregate and the premium quality. While the former is being used for civil construction and terminal building, the premium quality is strictly being adhered to for the runway. L&T built the Hyderabad Airport and the rewarding experience with Metso technology has been the primary reason for choosing them again for this all important project.”

According to MP Naidu, Project Director, DIAL Project, L&T, “Projects such as the Delhi International Airport have very demanding time lines and stringent specifications. It is also imperative that the service levels are of the highest standards to ensure that the reliability and consistency of the equipment does not become a bottleneck.”

“The nature of the feed material available for processing into aggregate is extremely abrasive and the cubicity and shape are of utmost importance for a high quality project such as an international airport that conforms to FAA specifications. In line with all that, L&T found Metso the ideal partner in answering these needs and maintaining critical objectives,” he said.

Vijay K Kosaraju, Managing Director, Robo Silicon Ltd, manufacturers of RoboSand, strategic supply partner for the aggregate to L&T for the DIAL project, said, “The specifications given to us for this contract subscribe to the highest levels of shape and gradation requirements which are of extreme importance in an application such as the runway. It is imperative that the equipment deployed delivers the required shape characteristics, the required grades for the mix design of concreting and asphalt and also the rate of production to match the pace required.”

“We have complete faith in Metso being able to deliver the requisite levels. We have currently deployed two plants near Delhi for feeding the project and have been sub-contracted by L&T to supply aggregate for the project. The products size of 5-10 mm and 10-20 mm are what is required for the runway and the structural work. A total of 24 lakh tonnes of aggregate is required for the runway and we are currently producing almost one lakh tonne every month. Both the plants from Metso are high availability ones and we intend to add another plant shortly to increase the capacity further, ” Kosaraju said.

Dr G Sudharshan Rao, Executive Director, Rock Sand Pvt. Ltd., again a strategic supply partner for the aggregate to L&T for the DIAL project, said, “Metso is proven technology and we know from experience that Metso Minerals equipment can rise to any challenge when the application demands it. I would really commend the levels of plant availability even with a very high abrasivity of rock. The service support with AMCs has helped us leverage the equipment in a more efficient manner.”

“We have been using Metso equipment for our merchant supply to international ready-mix contractors and when it came to taking on the contract for supply of aggregate to GMR, we had absolutely no hesitation in finalising three plants for this job. We were certain that the consultants and the client would not accept anything but the best in quality when it came to cubicity and the grades required, ” added Sudershan Rao.
Kamal Pahuja, Vice President, Metso Minerals, said, “We are proud to be part of a project of this magnitude. It is overwhelming to note that our techno¬logy has been exclusively deployed for the 4.5 km runway being constructed by L&T and its partners. We have been associated with other prestigious projects like Hyderabad and Bangalore airports and with our expertise in the industry today, we can handle the toughest of applications in the sector.”



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