Progress has been reported on the back-up power system of Bahrain International Airport's billion-dollar modernisation scheme.  

The development includes the construction of a new passenger terminal, in addition to the expansion and refurbishment of the existing terminal.

The new terminal covers a built-up area of 20.7ha, and will include a 4,600m2departure hall, 104 check-in counters, 36 passport control booths, and 24 security checkpoints.

Upon completion, the project is expected to raise the airport’s capacity from the current nine million passengers a year to 14 million per year.

A central utilities complex (CUC), comprising the airport’s emergency system, has been constructed to supply power and water to the new terminal. 

The CUC required a new back-up power system to ensure airport ops proceed as planned if main power fails. Two standby generators were installed for back-up power requirements.

Additionally, Bahrain-based Rumco Group was picked to deliver a pipework system that will transfer fuel from the bulk storage tanks to the generator day tanks.

Four new underground bulk fuel storage tanks, each with a capacity of 70,000 litres, will hold the diesel for the generators, and UK-made Durapipe PLX pipework will be used to feed the generator day tanks.

Durapipe PLX’s close-fit pipe coils, spanning 63mmx75mm, were installed to transfer diesel from the bulk storage tanks underground. These connect to a 110mm PLX pipe that fills the above-ground generator day tanks. A 90mm PLX vent-line pipe has also been installed for Stage 2 vapour recovery.

PLX is manufactured as a multi-layer pipe using polyethylene as a base material, with the pipe then welded using electrofusion tech. A protective liner is also installed to ensure permeation resistance against fuel blends. 

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Commenting on the installation, Ramdas Chirayil, general manager at Rumco Group, said: “The contractors were considering several pipework options for this project.

“With these generators only being used in an emergency, it is vital that the pipework installed could reliably and safely transfer fuel to the generator day tanks when called upon.”

In 2016, a joint venture between Arabtec and TAV was picked as main contractor through a $1.1bn (BHD414.1m) contract for the project, which includes the construction of a new terminal building, a main services building, and an aircraft bay.

The concept design for the terminal building's interiors has drawn on the natural assets and culture of Bahrain, designer Benoy said in a statement.