Walakpa Gas Field Microturbines

Project Description

The North Slope Borough’s (NSB) remote Walakpa Gas Field was powered by three 125kW Waukesha generators that had reached end of life and needed to be replaced. The NSB decided to replace the three generators with Capstone Turbines – C65 65kW microturbine generators.

Walakpa is a remote natural gas consolidation site located approximately 25 miles southwest of Barrow (Utqiaġvik), AK. The site is surrounded by environmentally sensitive tundra. Walakpa can only be accessed by helicopter in the summer and tracked vehicle or Rolligon in the winter, making site logistics extremely difficult.

Walakpa Gas Field Microturbines

What we did

Taku Engineering was selected to develop the design and construction bid package for the North Slope Borough. The design included the replacement of the three generators, gas turbine heat recovery, fuel gas process improvements, SCADA and remote operator controls, and all other ancillary systems. Taku Engineering was also selected to provide construction administration services for the project including Owner representation and full-time on-site construction oversight. The design was completed in early 2018 and construction was completed in April, 2019. Taku Engineering provided the following services:

 
  • Electrical Studies
  • Electrical Engineering
  • SCADA/Controls Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Energy Recovery
  • Civil/Structural Engineering
  • Process Engineering
  • Total Installed Cost (TIC) Estimating
  • Construction Administration Services
  • As-built Services

Final Results

Due to site logistics, construction was only feasible during winter months when the tundra is protected by snow pack. The Walakpa gas field is a critical fuel resource for heating and electric generation for the city of Barrow (Utqiaġvik), AK. This meant that the gas field needed to remain powered and operational throughout project construction. Additionally, the buildings at the Walakpa gas consolidation site are heated by a hydronic loop that is heated by the waste heat from the generators and all the well houses are heated with electric heaters. Time consideration for freezing buildings further reduced the available downtime for the generators during construction.

During the design phase, Taku Engineering identified a phased construction approach that allowed the re-use of the existing generator building as well as the existing generation infrastructure to the greatest extend possible. The phased approach minimized construction impacts to gas field operations and the community and dramatically reduced the cost and risk for the North Slope Borough. This logistically complex project was delivered as designed, on-time, and on-budget.

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