Dofasco had begun the process of designing and constructing a new state of-the-art Hot-Dipped Galvanizing Line. The project was a joint venture with Sollac, France’s major flat-rolled steel producer. The new operation would be capable of processing 400,000 tons per year, thus increasing Dofasco’s galvanizing production by 30%. JNE was asked to prepare with Dofasco a capital-cost estimate and the preliminary line arrangement drawings. This process took several months and included an extensive review of layouts from seven major equipment suppliers. A building profile was then established that allowed maximum flexibility with the final selection of equipment.
JNE was awarded the Construction-Engineering contract. The engineering effort was valued at $6 million, and the manpower effort peaked at the equivalent of 57 full-time people. Our responsibilities included the design of the Mill Building and the process piping for all vendor-supplied equipment, as well as the necessary electrical work. The final building is 1,200 feet long and includes a 230-foot-tall galvanneal furnace tower and a 120-foot-tall section for the annealing furnace.
The project had to be completed as quickly as possible, so the engineering had to be issued directly to the field as it was finalized; in many instances, the construction started from sketched information while the actual drawings were prepared after the work had begun. This meant that good communications between the Contractor and the Engineer were crucial, so informal meetings were held daily with the Design Engineers and the Field Specialists to minimize the margin of error between design and construction.