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North Pole Valve Replacement

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With Christmas only months away the toy factories at the North Pole were experiencing fluctuations in gas pressure. Production was down, but orders were way up. Midwestern Contractors received an RFP and bid documents for a valve replacement project on a 30” natural gas line located well north of the Arctic Circle (66°N).

The project was very competitive, but, in the end, we won the project. The SOW included building a 446-mile ice road to the block valve site. Creating a yard and staging area at Alert, Greenland. Crew warming shelters, a heated tent camp, cooking facilities, emergency medical facility, mechanics tent, and a satellite linked office trailer.

After the snow and ice was cleared, tents were erected over the valve site. A LOTO plan was developed with the plant personnel. Once in place, the line was blown down and the fitters and welders began work on cutting out the bad valve. Work was interrupted only once by a fierce arctic storm that produced 40 mph. winds and temperatures of -50° F.

DENSO formulated special, colored coatings that conformed to Santa’s strict construction specifications for all north polar projects. 

The new valve was cut in, welded, and x-rayed with two weeks to spare. The site was cleaned up and the crew enjoyed a big meal, compliments of Santa and the elves. We were proud to play a part in keeping Santa’s Gas infrastructure in good repair and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

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