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Atlas Copco’s winning ‘duo’ for Sri Lankan quarry

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Recently delivered Atlas Copco portable air compressor helps Korean contractor meet the aggregates requirements to complete its 75 km Nittambuwa – Kandy Road Project contract on schedule in Sri Lanka.
An Atlas Copco combination featuring an ROC 442 PC drill rig and a recently delivered XAMS 856 air compressor with a free air delivery of 250 l/s at 8.6 bar (850 cfm at 125 psi), has proved successful in ensuring Korean contractor Keangnam is able to carry out the rehabilitation of the Nittambuwa – Kandy Road project in Sri Lanka.
Originally built by Balfour Beatty some 20 years ago, the highway has become the busiest in Sri Lanka linking the capital Colombo and the city of Kandy with large volumes of bus and lorry traffic causing the road surface to become badly worn and in need of urgent repavement.
Keangnam’s contract involved over paving the highway with a 10-20 cm base course – “and in places up to 30 cm,” said Plant Manager, H.L.S. de Zoysa – plus two 5 cm wearing courses.
The asphalt is supplied by Keangnam’s 104 t/h asphalt plant located alongside its 200 t/h crushing plant and quarry operation at Thulhiriya, 60 km east of Colombo and opened in 2007.
The quarry is one of three operated by Keangnam, maintaining the company’s policy to provide asphalt for its highway contracts across Sri Lanka.
Unable to meet aggregate demand for its ‘key’ Nittambuwa – Kandy project, the contractor opted for a new atlas Copco XAMS 856 to increase production at Thulhiriya; ordered through local dealer Swedish Trading Co.
The contractor has a fleet of 10 Atlas Copco compressors in Sri Lanka, mostly XAS 186’s working on the highway projects.
For three quarry operations, Keangnam had relied on the combination of Atlas Copco XAMS 405 compressors and ROC 442 PC drill rigs.
“Delivery of the latest XAMS 856 compressor allowed us to increase production with ease,” said Plant Manager, H.L.S. de Zoysa, confirming that the rock encountered at Thulhiriya was very hard Gneiss with a hardness factor of 19.5.
The latest compressor is generally used for drilling at 6 bar, “but,” confirmed de Zoysa, “when really hard rock is excavated it can easily provide up to 8.6 bar.”
Complying with strict blasting controls, the contractor is generally drilling 15 holes x 6 m depths for daily blasting using 65 mm diameter holes; with holes taking up to 30 minutes to drill.
“This is our first XAMS 856 and is exceeding our expectations,” said de Zoysa, continuing, “It is powered by a Caterpillar engine to provide virtually maintenance-free operation plus has additional horsepower compared with our other compressors.”
He added, “Its compact size meant it is very easy to maneuver and it can fit into difficult access with the rig combination.”
Keangnam Enterprises is a Korea-based construction and engineering contractor with almost 30 years experience in Sri Lanka specializing in the highway sector.
For further information visit: www.atlascopco.com

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