Project: Mega Reservoir
Location: Qatar
Products: BLE Fire Curtains

Energy International – Qatar and BLE Group design and install a comprehensive fire-safety system for the construction of a mega-reservoir system in Qatar

Water, water, everywhere nor any drop to drink.

That has always been a concern for a nation like Qatar. Situated on a peninsula jetting out into the Persian Gulf, the oil rich and natural gas rich kingdom is surround by water, yet none of it is potable without going through the expensive process of desalination.

Recent studies have shown that desalinated sea water may not be healthy, lacking the minerals and nutrients found in natural water.

Add to that a population that is continually-growing increasing the demand for clean water and you see the problem.

Qatar is tackling the issue head on.

The Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA) has launched an ambitious project to provide seven days of strategic potable water storage by adding a series of new mega reservoirs to the existing and future secondary reservoirs. Water quality in the reservoirs will be as per KAHRAMAA and World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

The first phase of the project entails the construction of five mega reservoir sites and pumping stations, situated along the Qatar National Utility Corridor, and an interconnecting network of large diameter water pipelines.

When completed, phase 1 will provide storage capacity of about 2.3 trillion gallons of water in 24 huge, concrete reservoirs and 480 km of buried, ductile, iron pipelines 1.6 meters in diameter.
Phase two, which will be implemented sometime after 2020, will include construction of additional pipelines and 16 new reservoirs within the five mega sites to achieve total storage capacity of about 3.8 trillion gallons of water.

Phase one should meet expected demand out to 2026 where phase two will meet demand out to 2036.

Each of the five mega sites has a control and staff building that overlooks the site’s massive, main pump station room that is visible through a series of windows that span a long corridor.

The corridors stretch 65 meters in four of the control buildings while the fifth building has a 91-meter corridor.

Qatar Contractors HBK Contracting Co., Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), and Leighton Contracting Qatar chose Energy International Qatar to supply fire curtains to the mega reservoir project.

“The requirement was to keep the fire rating and separation between the control building and pump station without having to remove the monitoring windows,” said Ammar Assi, General Manager Energy International Qatar.

Assi added that the technical challenge was designing a system of curtains that could span the 65- and 91-meter corridors while still maintaining their structural integrity. Added to that, the whole system needs to deploy on one fire alarm signal.

“We were chosen for the project because of the confidence the client had in our ability to meet the requirements,” said Assi. “Our engineers worked closely with them from the beginning providing technical support and proving to them that we were qualified to handle the project.”

Energy International called on supplier partner BLE Group, a U.K.-based supplier of state-of-the-art, gravity fail-safe smoke and fire curtains.

BLE designs, manufactures and installs gravity failsafe smoke and fire curtains that offer the latest in electronic technology and innovation, making their products the prime choice with designers, architects and engineers. BLE products are designed to be discreet, robust and simple to operate.

In the event of a power failure the backup batteries, supplied with the GCP, can maintain full control of the system for up to four hours. If a fire alarm signal is activated during a power failure the curtains will deploy in a controlled manner as normal.

Energy International engineers utilized their technical expertise and product knowledge to design a system, using BLE FC240 Fire Curtains, that would meet the contractor’s and client’s requirements.

“BLE’s FC240 curtains are fire-rated for four hours at 1,000 0C, approved by the Qatar Civil Defense and have no limitations on width,” said Assi.

“We have supplied the fire curtains with a group control panel, interlinking all of the curtain rollers in one shot, through a single fire alarm signal.”

Gravity failsafe fire curtains are mounted to a roller that is concealed in a headbox in the ceiling above the area where they need to deploy. The roller is held in place by a small holding voltage.

When a fire alarm is activated, the contact in the Group Control Panel (GCP) is opened and the power is removed from the motors, which releases the curtains to deploy under gravity in a controlled manner (Gravity Fail Safe). When the fire alarm system is reset the GCP reinstates the 24v supply to the motors and the curtains are retracted to their normal position in the head box. Current limiting circuitry detects when the curtain has fully retracted and the supply voltage to the motor is stepped down to a holding voltage. Motor limit switches are not required.

Energy International – Qatar engineers supervised the installation, testing and commissioning of the curtains and are on call to provide additional technical support when needed.

“All civil and electromechanical works are completed,” said Assi. “The project will be handed over sometime this year once the testing and commissioning is completed on some of the sites.”