Hatch Honored with 2017 Ontario Consulting Engineering Award
Mississauga, ON—Last night at the OCE’s gala award ceremony in Mississauga, Hatch received one of the organization’s highest accolades: an award of merit in the Industry, Energy, and Resources category for its work on the cofferdam at the Oxec II hydroelectric project in Guatemala.
Owned by Energy Resources Capital, this greenfield hydroelectric project on the Cahabón River in the Department of Alta Verapaz is currently under construction by contractor Solel Boneh Guatemala, S.A. Hatch is the contractor’s engineer for the project.
“The structure was the first of its kind built in Guatemala,” says Henri Assa, the Oxec II project manager for Solel Boneh Guatemala. “By the end of its life in service, it was recognized by the stakeholders as a notable achievement. The cellular cofferdam is now considered to be the owner’s preferred option for any future projects with a similar scope.”
The design was chosen because it offered exceptional reliability where the river’s flow velocity was high. There were substantial environmental benefits, as the cofferdam’s enclosed cellular structure prevented the release of fill into the river during its construction and removal. And, the team was able to cut at least four months from the construction schedule by eliminating one entire stage of the river’s diversion.
Constructing the cofferdam was not without its challenges. High-magnitude flood conditions dictated a relatively large cofferdam. As such, the temporary diversion required a significant level of construction effort to be completed within a very compressed schedule. The concept had never been used before by the contractor, so their staff did not have direct experience with it. And there were risks associated with the in-water works and the frequent large floods common to the region.
“We proposed this design to address some very specific challenges and requirements that were unique to this project and the region’s climate,” says Hooman Ghassemi, P.Eng., Hatch’s project manager for Oxec II. “This solution had definite technical benefits and allowed us to maintain the project’s economic viability with respect to budget and schedule. We couldn’t be more pleased with its success, and are honoured to be recognized by OCE with this award.”
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