SPIE renovates Fessenheim lock monitoring and control system

SPIE renovates Fessenheim lock monitoring and control system

SPIE renovates Fessenheim lock monitoring and control system

SPIE has won the contract to renovate Fessenheim’s lock monitoring and control system; it was first placed in service in 1956 on the Grand Canal d’Alsace, located by the Rhine. The contract, awarded by EDF’s Mulhouse hydraulic engineering centre, presents a unique challenge; precise scheduling by SPIE is required so that the site can remain partly operational throughout the duration of the works.

Managed by the energy services department of SPIE Est’s infrastructure division, the Fessenheim contract involves the replacing and monitoring of control boards, lock gate motors and sensors. The team will also install a new video surveillance system in order to optimise lock chamber control.

The lock, which comprises one large and one small chamber, 23 metres and 12 metres wide respectively, and both 185 metres long, is used by nearly 20,000 boats a year. Work on the lock is due to start in spring 2016, with strict lead times between the shutdown of river traffic, and the restarting times set by the operator. The renovation will be carried out in two stages: in phase one the large chamber will be closed followed. In phase two, a year later, this will be kept open while the small chamber is closed. In addition to its technical complexity, this operation challenges SPIE Est to work within an extremely tight schedule.

“This operation is part of the campaign to upgrade the automatic control of locks on the river Rhine, these installations date back to between 1995 and 1999 (previous-generation automatic control systems),” says Raymond Wolff, Monitoring and Control Department Engineer at EDF’s hydraulic engineering centre (CIH) and project manager. “SPIE Est successfully completed an initial upgrading operation – we can describe that as a prototype – on Strasbourg lock between 2011 and 2012. We now want to upgrade all eight of the locks on the Rhine managed by EDF, including at Fessenheim.”

“All the experience we acquired during the previous operation at Strasbourg will be brought into play for during the renovation of the lock monitoring and control,” says Thibaud Vives, Assistant Contract Manager at SPIE Est. “We are now very familiar with the areas that require special attention, this means we can meet the client’s requirements with optimal efficiency and within the precise timing of the scheduled works.”

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