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Fraccaroli & Balzan’s water filtration systems in demand on key tunnelling projects

First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe & International
September October 2016
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Fraccaroli & Balzan’s moveable steel wastewater plant
Fraccaroli & Balzan's innovative moveable steel wastewater plant is being used to deliver Norway's Follo Line Project
Italian water filtration system manufacturer, Fraccaroli and Balzan, has recently been involved in the biggest tunnelling-linked project in the company’s history – becoming the claimed first company to produce a steel movable pit to treat water during drilling of the tunnel. Guy Woodford reports.

The portable Fraccaroli & Balzan (F&B) wastewater plant being used in the Follo Line Project – the largest current transport project in Norway which includes a 20km twin tube rail tunnel between Oslo Central Station and the new Ski station, south of the capital - does away with the sizeable cost of disposing of a concrete pit traditionally used during the tunnelling-linked water treatment process.

F&B has supplied an FB 7000-V decanter model to treat 250m³/hour of waste water, an FB 1000-20 filter press to reduce water in the slurry, a five sand filter FB SA2500 model to remove silt, and a five carbon filter-FB QS2500 model to remove hydrocarbon and oil from water. The newly-cleaned water can now be reused in the TBM cooling system or discharged in a river.

“This is the first tunnelling customer and the third customer overall for which we’ve provided a movable steel plant,” says Marco Balzan, general manager at F&B. “The other customers were in Brisbane and Athens.”

F&B’s single piston side beam filter presses are open on top for easier maintenance operations, cloth changes and the installation of new plates. They have a flexible and module-type construction, and can be used with 5 to 120 plates. They also come with a number of accessories such as shaker plates, an automatic cloth washer, a sliding tray to collect dripping water, and a plate sliding system, with wheels in nylon along the side beams. F&B says this guarantees maximum freedom of movement and precision.

Meanwhile, F&B’s four piston overhead beam filter presses are completely open, both on top and on the side, to aid maintenance and parts replacement, similar to the single piston side beam models. As with the single piston beam filter presses in their flexible, module-type construction, they can be used with 80 to 190 plates.
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F&B’s portable steel wastewater plant
F&B's portable steel wastewater plant is said to do away with the large cost of disposing of the concrete pit usually used during the tunnelling-linked water treatment process
An eye-catching F&B innovation on the four piston overhead beam filter presses is the robot installed on top of each unit, which opens/closes the plates and shakes them, while also automatically washing the cloths. These models also come with a drip tray to collect dripping water, and are equipped with a walking grid for safer maintenance operations. Furthermore, a system for anchoring the plates at the sides is said by F&B to guarantee freedom of movement and maximum precision.

Another major project involving F&B’s filter press and water treatment systems is the Isarco River Underpass Section of the Brenner Base Tunnel, which is at the heart of the new Brenner Railway Link between Munich and Verona. F&B is supplying three FB1500-40 filter presses and a number of filters for the project.

Due to be completed by 2022, the Isarco works are the southern segment of the Brenner Base Tunel which, at 64 kilometres, will be the longest underground rail link in the world. The Isarco River Underpass includes civil works for the two main tunnels for a total length of around 4.3kms, and two interconnecting tunnels totalling 2.3kms in length that connect with the current railway line. For the duration of the project, the existing historic Verona-Brenner railway line will be diverted along a 1km stretch.

A similar F&B water filtration system to the one used at Isarco works is being used in the Astaldi Rome Subway Line C project, launched in 2006. The eight wastewater treatment plants with filter press F&B system is an important element of work on the route, which measures over 25km in length. It will run across the city from north-west to south-east, touching Rome’s historic centre – a UNESCO world heritage site - in several locations.

“There are other big transport projects coming soon to the north of Italy,” says Balzan. “There are big tunnelling works planned in the Genoa area. We already provided a big filter press FB 1500-120 four-piston overhead beam filter press to Cociv, based near Genoa. The company is working a lot with railway tunnel projects.”

Companies in this article

Fraccaroli & Balzan

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