Mälarbanan – a race against the clock. SMA Mineral was commissioned to deliver KC Binder, lime cement, for the construction of the new railway tracks on Mälarbanan – nothing odd about that. The real challenge turned out to be that the job, which would normally take ten weeks, had to be done in ten days. - 400 tons (of KC Binder) had to be delivered every day day, says Jarek Fastlind at SMA Mineral.
There is currently something of a construction boom in Sweden, and Mälarbanan, the railway north of Mälaren between Stockholm and Örebro, is one example of this. Four new railway tracks are under construction here. The route and the bottleneck Tomteboda – Kalhäll is being expanded from two to four tracks.
SMA Mineral has been involved in the construction of Mälarbanan before. This time around the challenge, with the leg Barkarby – Spånga, was to complete the job in ten days instead of ten weeks; the normal time that this type of commission would usually take. Standing by with back-up – Each day 400 tons of KC Binder had to be delivered, divided into ten shipments. So we constantly had to make sure that our silos in Kolbäck were restocked with new lime and new cement and that the shipments were running according to plan, and if they didn’t we needed to be prepared with backup solutions, explains Jarek Fastlind, sales manager of the construction application. The greatest challenge (was met by) Dmixab, the contractor that performed the ground stabilization work, which worked around the clock in two 12 hour shifts using four KC machines that were constantly running. The challenge was to coordinate all logistics with lime from Dalarna, cement from Västerås and deliveries of pre-mixed KC Binder from Kolbäck to the worksite “just in time”. – If several trucks arrive at the construction site at the same time they’re left standing there and that costs money so we had to make sure that we were in constant communication, says Jarek Fastlind.
The second challenge was to prearrange for a large lime supply since the commission coincided with a maintenance stop of the Boda lime works, where the lime comes from. – This is without a doubt the most challenging project that we have had regarding production and logistics.
20 meter wide pillars of KC Binder were delivered from the SMA Mineral terminal in Kolbäck to the construction site where the contractor Dmixab took over. The KC Binder was founded into 20 meter deep pillars and in total 2,000 tons of KC Binder was used. The cement does what cement always does – turns into concrete. – In turn the lime is an active material that triggers the reaction in the ground and together the two products form very strong pillars, explains Jarek Fastlind.
To be continued
So how did it go? Brilliantly! Dmixab and SMA Mineral have added a new chapter to Swedish ground stabilization. Never before has such a huge project been done in such a short time. Nor did it ever become necessary to press the “red button”. The work on Mälarbanan progressed without one single mishap. And there is more to follow. SMA Mineral has great hopes of continuing to deliver more KC Binder for the next upcoming railway routes.