OHL Industrial designs, builds new hydrocarbon storage terminal in busy European harbor

Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL), one of the largest international concession and construction groups, switched to Intergraph® SmartPlant® 3D to tackle the modeling of structures, platforms, equipment, piping design, modeling of stands, and the design of electrical trays and instrumentation, as well as interference analysis, reporting, isometrics and plant drawings.

Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) is one of the largest international concession and construction groups. It boasts 100 years’ experience and has significant operations in 30 countries across five continents. The OHL Group is composed of four divisions: OHL Concesiones, OHL Construcción, OHL Industrial y OHL Desarrollos. Since its establishment in 1911, OHL has been involved in all types of activities in the construction field all over the globe.

The Challenge

The port of Algeciras (Cádiz, Spain) is located in the Strait of Gibraltar. With nearly 80,000 vessels handled per year, the harbor is the largest port in Spain and one of the busiest in the world. Vopak Terminal Algeciras awarded OHL Industrial the turnkey contract for the construction of a marine terminal, storage and distribution of hydrocarbons in the harbor. The project included the development of all detail engineering, supply of materials and equipment, construction and assembly, commissioning, and start-up of the maritime terminal.

The project aimed to meet two main objectives: to increase the fuel supply to vessels and to offer greater environmental and safety guarantees. In order to undertake this project, OHL invested 165,000 hours of engineering and more than two million hours of construction with more than 600 workers during peaks.

As a result of the project, the terminal Algeciras will offer international customers the opportunity to safely store their product ashore, optimally capitalizing on any developments in the Mediterranean gas and oil trading market. OHL Industrial used the Intergraph SmartPlant® suite for its scalability, the integration of engineering disciplines and because it covers all the phases of a project life cycle. The products used include SmartPlant 3D, SmartPlant Instrumentation, SmartPlant P&ID, SmartPlant Materials, SmartPlant Review and CAESAR II®.

The main challenge came from using a new design tool, whose catalogs needed to be customized to OHL requirements. A longtime PDS® user, the switch to Smart-Plant 3D required training the users and making catalog adjustments, which put pressure on the deadline. The company initially trained nine designers and two administrators.

The challenges experienced with SmartPlant Materials had to do with including the catalogs of electrical and instrumentation disciplines in a short period of time, and improving company standard work process and workflows through the system. As the departments used the system during the entire execution, the project experienced better communication in planning, project structure, strategies, team work and distribution of responsibilities.


The Solution

With SmartPlant 3D, OHL tackled the modeling of structures, platforms, equipment, piping design, modeling of stands, and the design of electrical trays and instrumentation, as well as interference analysis, reporting, isometrics and plant drawings. The model was presented to the customer in SmartPlant Review.

SmartPlant P&ID was used for process and instrumentation diagrams, while the list of instruments, cables, controls, hook-up diagrams, electrical connections, instrument data sheet and process data sheets were created with SmartPlant Instrumentation. CAESAR II was responsible for the piping flexibility analysis, while SmartPlant Materials centralized all the material management, coding, planning, reception, stock, dispatch to subcontractors and reporting.

The company experienced the following benefits:

  • Better quality design and detailed design
  • Enhanced integration of project deliverables during different phases of the project life cycle
  • Reduced lead time and “processing” time of requested information
  • Improved efficiency and coordination between disciplines

The terminal has 22 storage tanks with nominal storage capacity of 403,000 cubic meters: 346.000 cubic meters for fuel oils and gas oils and 57,000 cubic meters of gasoline. The terminal also has more than 200 mechanical equipment, both static and dynamic. In order to complete the project successfully, OHL Industrial invested more than 50 engineers, two years and an investment of 130 million euros. Using the latest technologies available, such as 3D modeling of the terminal to the highest detail, enabled the company to have full project traceability.

This resulted in improved management of materials and teams, greater design coordination, smoother decision-making, and minimal disruptions during the construction phase, which contributed decisively to the project's successful completion. This terminal is the largest built in Spain in a single project and was granted recognition for high security levels.