News

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Railway route for commuters to Cologne is being expanded

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Like many urban agglomerations, Cologne is also experiencing increasing numbers of commuters. In addition, the highly frequented Cologne railway loop is a central connection point for regional, national and international rail traffic.

In order to increase the capacity of the line and the frequency of the trains on the line, investments are to be made into the expansion of Cologne’s local public transport system. ILF Consulting Engineers has been commissioned with the overall design for the expansion of the S11/S-Bahn Main Line, package 1 “VP1” (Köln-Dellbrück to Bergisch Gladbach) (https://sbahnkoeln.de/).

The scope of services includes, among other things, the planning and design of the transportation facilities and engineering structures, environmental planning, subsoil investigations, the necessary noise and vibration investigations, the planning and design of the control and signaling technology as well as overhead transmission systems, and site supervision during the planning and design.

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Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

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Hydro power is commonly considered as a mature technology. Does this mean that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks?

The increase in calculation power allows us employing Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations to tailor standard structures to your needs and to design and test truly innovative hydraulics structures.

See in the below video how we used cutting-edge CFD models to re-design the Nam Emoun project in Lao PDR. The key for the transformation of the project was the implementation of fully pressurized waterways. To guarantee operational flexibility and hydraulic stability, an innovative baffled dropshaft structure was developed and tested. Thus, the cost of the project could be reduced by USD20 million compared to the prior contractor offer, the energy output was increased by almost 10% and the construction time was reduced by 8 months. CFD was key to turn a barely feasible project into a high-performance investment. So, Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Contact us to learn more about Engineering Excellence by ILF Consulting Engineers and how ILF can help you develop and built truly sustainable energy projects. Our Engineering, Your Success!

The video can also be found here.

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A Sustainable Upgrade for the Schmittenhöhe Snow-Making System

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After years of searching in vain for an ecologically and economically justifiable location for a new storage reservoir, which is needed to increase the capacity of the snow-making system in the northern part of the Schmittenhöhe ski area, an alternative solution, which involves taking water directly from Lake Zell, has been developed together with Schmittenhöhebahn AG, one of ILF’s long-standing clients. ILF was commissioned to develop a technically feasible solution that could be approved by the authorities and to support the implementation of this solution during the permit application design, detailed design and site supervision, all the way through to commissioning.

A first construction phase in 2019 included the construction of a pumping station at Lake Zell, which involved the installation of pipes via pipe jacking under the federal road, the ÖBB railway line and the lakeside promenade, with the pipes leading directly into Lake Zell. Water is taken from Lake Zell and pumped through several pump units, at a total of 150 l/s, via an approximately 3-km-long supply line to the existing Sonnalm I pumping station.

In 2020, the Sonnalm II pumping station was constructed during the second construction phase. By means of an additional pumping station, the entire additional flow capacity can now be used to transport water to the snow makers via the new powerful cooling system with a total of 6 large cooling towers. After completion and commissioning of the system in autumn 2020, the Schmittenhöhe AG will now be able to provide guaranteed snow in the northern part of the ski area, thanks to the powerful snow-making system.

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When rain becomes a flood

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Cooling off in a sudden rain shower on a hot summer day often feels good. But a thunderstorm with torrential rain can quickly lead to flooding and cause serious damages in cities and settlements.
Extreme rainfall events are difficult to predict as they occur suddenly and on a small spatial scale. Due to climate change, the occurrence of such events will very likely increase and it is advisable to be well prepared before they happen.

With a competent and interdisciplinary team and with specialized modeling tools, ILF Consulting Engineers supports its clients in preparing and developing protective measures. A key element is the hazard analysis carried out using a hydrodynamic model that simulates the runoff of stormwater in the drainage system and on the surface, i.e. on streets, squares, or along ditches and rivers, thus making it possible to assess the associated risks. Based on the analysis results, various protective measures can be developed.

For more information or answers to your questions please contact Marc.Ischen@ilf.com.

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Computational Design for Infrastructure projects

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Through the application of Computational Design (CD) on infrastructure projects, ILF Consulting Engineers breaks new ground. The approach was based on combining the CD skills with engineering and software expertise. Together, this combination was able to recognize the possibilities and streamline design processes with increased quality and time savings.

ILF tunneling experts used CD to create optimized tunnel profile designs for the creation of building information modeling (BIM) models of tunnels based on real-world tunnel projects. Using generative design solutions which allow the user to set variables and desired goals such as minimum excavation area and/or required ventilation area, an optimized tunnel cross section is produced and used in turn for the creation of the BIM models.

A further example involved the design of tunnel branches based on inputs such as typical cross section data, alignments, gradients, chainages and cross slope information. A parametric 3D model of the tunnel branch geometry and 2D sections of the tunnel profiles are produced. By reducing the time for production of design alternatives to 20 %, various alternatives can be considered and the quality of the final design can be optimized.

For further information or answers to your questions, please contact fearghal.timlin@ilf.com.

 

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Stuttgart 21 – a 10-year success story

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ILF Consulting Engineers has been working on the large-scale project Stuttgart 21 (S21) since being awarded a contract by the Deutsche Bahn, at the end of 2009, to carry out the construction supervision for various sections of the project. With the planned construction works, the entire floor plan of the Stuttgart Central Station will be rotated by approx. 90 degrees and laid underground. This requires the construction of numerous new interconnections and many modifications on existing lines in the inner-city area, as well as the construction of new tunnel sections as feeder lines to the future Stuttgart station.

ILF’s scope of services comprises the design sections 1.2 and 1.6a of the S21 project (see overview below), which are interconnected to the new central station by tunnels ending in the future high-speed track of the new Stuttgart–Ulm line, which is currently being constructed in the South of Stuttgart. In addition there are underground connections to the existing railway lines towards Untertürkeim and Obertürkheim in the East.

ILF’s experts have now been successfully involved in this large-scale project for more than 10 years and will continue to work on this project for some years to come. The commissioned services mainly comprise technical and construction contract-related services as the construction supervisor, railway operational services in the vicinity of the facilities in operation, as well as services for project completion including handover of the entire concrete and structural works prior to the commencement of works on the track bed structures being carried out by other contractors.

So far, a total of approximately 28 km of single-track tunnel tubes have been driven using mining methods (NATM) and tunnel boring machines (TBMs). The tunnel cross sections are approximately 8 to 9 m in diameter, with underground bifurcations as well as approximately 30 emergency connection structures. In addition, 3 large portal structures are being constructed using the cut-and-cover method, each approximately 300-500 m long with trough and rectangular cross-sections in partly confined conditions next to railway lines that are already in operation.

Currently, the last tunnel sections are being driven towards Obertürkheim. Parallel to this, the inner linings in all sections of the tunnels and the cut-and-cover works in the portal areas are nearing completion. The next major milestone is expected to be reached by mid-2021, which will comprise the initiation of the subsequent track works on several tunnel sections around Stuttgart.

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New Ammonia Tanks in Aqaba

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KEMAPCO Arab Fertilizers & Chemicals Industries Company in Jordan has commissioned ILF Consulting Engineers to provide Project Management Consultancy (PMC) services for new ammonia tanks.

KEMAPCO’s production facilities currently have a production capacity of 175 Kt of potassium nitrate (NOP) fertilizer and nitric acid per year, which covers approximately 8% of total global NOP demand. At present, KEMAPCO receives its supply of ammonia from a third party company via pumps and pipelines. In order to increase independence from suppliers, the construction of a new ammonia storage tank with a capacity of 20,000 Mt is planned in the economic zone of Aqaba. The project consists of a double-walled, cooled ammonia storage tank with loading and unloading facilities and all other related equipment.

ILF has been commissioned with the project management, conceptual/tender design for the EPC contract as well as construction and commissioning supervision.

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Go-ahead for the StadtRegioTram Line Extension to Kremsdorf

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The StadtRegioTram (SRT) is an essential component of the overall traffic and transport management concept and of the public transport network for the greater Linz area, and currently runs from the city center of Linz to the city of Traun. In the future, a third extension to the line is planned, with the new section leading to Kremsdorf, in the municipality of Ansfelden. The first two extensions of the line have already achieved a significant increase in passenger numbers compared to the forecasts. In 2018, the annual number of passengers on lines 3 and 4 was 6.8 million. On the planned third extension to the SRT, approximately 12,000 passengers are expected on working days.

In August 2020, ILF, as part of a partnership and as best bidder, was awarded the contract, by Schiene OÖ GmbH, for the conceptual design of the approx. 4.4 km long extension of the line. The objective of the conceptual design is to make important decisions and stipulations relating to the technical content and/or spatial extent of the project, and to assess their impact on both the environment and costs. This should provide a stable basis for the political decision regarding the realization of the project.

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Ski World Championships 2025 in Saalbach-Hinterglemm

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For the second time, the Alpine Ski World Championships 2025 will be held in Saalbach-Hinterglemm (Austria). The Saalbach ski resort, a long-standing client of ILF Consulting Engineers, beat its competitors, the renowned ski resorts Crans Montana (Switzerland) and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) in the runoff for the 2025 Ski World Championships.

All races of the Word Championships will take place at Zwölferkogel and therefore on snow provided by snow-making systems designed by ILF. Congratulations to our client! We look forward to exciting competitions in Saalbach.

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Freestyle bike event in a class of its own – Crankworx Innsbruck

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For the fourth time in a row, the world’s largest gravity mountain bike festival took place in Tirol last weekend. The host, Bikepark Innsbruck at the Muttereralm, created perfect conditions for the bike pros despite the inclement weather conditions.

The victory of two Austrian mountain bike riders in the downhill race on the trails and courses designed by ILF made for an exciting finish to Crankworx on Sunday. We look forward to seeing the athletes again on the Muttereralm at Crankworx 2021.

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More Snow for the Reiterkogel Snow-Making System in Hinterglemm

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In summer 2020, Bergbahnen Saalbach-Hinterglemm GmbH (BBSH) made the decision to further expand the Reiterkogel snow-making system. The aim of the expansion is to considerably increase the system’s snow-making capacity in order to substantially improve snow cover and be prepared for future challenges.

The key component of the two-year construction project is the Rosswald storage reservoir, with a total capacity of approx. 230,000 m³, and the associated new pumping station. The dam of the storage reservoir, with a maximum height of 42 m, will be constructed in its entirety using processed material from the reservoir excavation.

The existing system together with the new storage reservoir and the adjacent pumping stations will contribute to highly efficient water management and system performance at the Reiterkogel.

Upon completion of the renaturalization works, the Rosswald storage reservoir will become a popular destination for summer excursions blending perfectly into the picturesque surroundings. The reservoir’s easy accessibility makes it an ideal spot for summer tourism.

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Green electricity storage facility in Gaildorf

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The water battery is an innovative combination of a wind power plant and a small and flexible pumped storage plant for the storage and controlled feed of volatile renewable energy into the grid. The first pilot project is currently underway in Gaildorf (Germany). For this purpose, ILF Consulting Engineers was commissioned by Max Bögl Wind AG to provide different consulting and design services for the pumped storage plant.

Innovative solutions and various other unique features characterize the initial implementation in Gaildorf and make this project a lighthouse project. The storage plant has a head of 200 m. With regard to machinery, the innovate character is emphasized by the 3×6 MW variable speed reversible pump turbines with asynchronous generator and full converter, all of which is meant to achieve maximum flexibility for demand based storage and feed-in of the generated energy.

The forward-looking project is supported with EUR 7.15 million funded through the environmental innovation program of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety.*

 

*Source: https://www.naturspeicher.de/de/pilotprojekt/pilotprojekt.php

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Take the train, collect Green Points, protect the environment

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Once again, ILF Consulting Engineers’ employees in Austria are among the most frequent train passengers in Austria. By taking the train for business trips, last year ILF employees collected lots of “Green Points”, a program initiated by the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), and reduced CO2 emissions by 86.8 tons. ILF is proud that this figure again represents a significant increase from the previous year (63.1 tons).

ILF greatly appreciates this ÖBB initiative, as the sustainable protection of the environment is extremely important both with regard to the structures and facilities planned by ILF and the daily project work. We continue to strive to contribute to sustainability in Austria by taking ÖBB trains for business trips and thereby supporting this great initiative.

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Resilient infrastructure – how does that work?

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Extreme heat or snowfall, storms, floods and forest fires can have multiple impacts on our daily lives. These phenomena are not new but they are increasing in intensity and frequency, and are therefore a great challenge for the resilience of transport infrastructure. The consequences that we all notice are extensive traffic jams, lengthy closures, material damage, major detours and long delays.

ILF Consulting Engineers is currently working intensively on two research projects in Germany, to be able to counteract the effects of ongoing climate change. The resilience of transport infrastructure has to do with the availability of the transport network in the event of effects resulting from extreme events of any kind.

The great complexity of the topic and the interconnection of different aspects require a high level of technical competence. Just as important is the ability to recognize functional relationships and to structure them appropriately.

The competence and experience of ILF’s experts makes it possible to implement challenging projects at home and abroad in the best possible way.

#innovatethefuture

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Electro-mechanical challenge at the Engelberg Base Tunnel

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ILF Consulting Engineers has recently won several very interesting projects in the field of electro-mechanical equipment for road tunnels. One project, which deserves special mention, is a construction supervision contract at the Engelberg Base Tunnel near Leonberg, which was awarded to ILF and a partner by the regional government authority serving the German city of Stuttgart (Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart).

Due to its central location, linking the A8 and the A81 motorway, the twin-tube tunnel with a length of approximately 2,530 m plays a key role as a north-south and east-west traffic hub in southern Germany.

In addition to highly complex structural rehabilitation works being required due to deformations and damage of the permanent lining in parts of the tunnel, the electro-mechanical equipment will have to be upgraded to meet the latest safety requirements.

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Modeling of water resources

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#innovatethefuture

Water is life and a resilient infrastructure is a key element for sustainable development and political stability. For the planning, design and implementation of many infrastructure projects and for a comprehensive river basin management, knowledge about the availability of water over space and time is an important pre-requisite for decision-making and design processes.

Water balance analyses depend strongly on suitable software and, above all, on reliable data on temperature, precipitation and discharge, etc. In many regions of the world, the quality and quantity of this data from the past is not sufficient – a dilemma when it comes to making informed investment and planning decisions.

This is why, a modeling tool called SUPRA tool (Simulation of Water Resources Under Present and Future Climate) is currently being developed and tested in close cooperation with the long-term research and development partners alpS GmbH and alpS Research of the University of Innsbruck. In the future, this tool will make it possible to calculate the current water balance situation and future scenarios more accurately, especially in mountainous regions with limited data availability but also in all other areas around the world.

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ILF is member of the Bavarian Hydrogen Alliance

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Hydrogen is regarded as one of the key elements for global energy system transformation and climate protection, as it can be produced and used flexibly and without emissions, and at the same time is easy to transport and store.

To strengthen and further develop Bavaria’s technological competence in the field of innovative hydrogen technologies, the State of Bavaria founded the Center Hydrogen.Bavaria (H2.B) in 2019 and initiated the Hydrogen Alliance Bavaria. The aim is to bring together key players in industry, science, and politics in order, among other things, to advance the topic of “hydrogen economy” in Bavaria as quickly as possible and to achieve the use of hydrogen in broad practical application. The focus here is, above all, on demonstration and lighthouse projects.

ILF has many years of practical experience in consulting, planning, and project management in the energy and transport sector. We are currently supporting several pilot projects on hydrogen production, transport, and acceptance. Also, ILF advises companies on the use of hydrogen along the entire value chain, thus contributing to the establishment of a hydrogen infrastructure.

We are therefore delighted to be able to contribute to the progress of hydrogen technologies as an official member of the Bavarian Hydrogen Alliance since June 2020.

Environmentally friendly solution of renewable energy storage - hydrogen gas to clean electricity facility situated in forest environment. 3d rendering.

It’s all new – the Obervellach II hydropower plant

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Together with partners, ILF Consulting Engineers was in charge of the site supervision and contract management for the new construction of the Obervellach II hydropower plant as commissioned by ÖBB Infrastruktur AG. This hydropower plant replaces the two existing power plants – Lassach (built in 1905) and Obervellach I (built in 1929) in Carinthia/Austria – they will be decommissioned and partly dismantled.

The planned new hydropower plant will provide traction power (16.7 Hz) and will have a capacity of 38 MW and consist of three water intake structures, an approx. 3.9 km long headrace tunnel and an approx. 0.6 km long storage tunnel with a storage volume of some 60,000 m3. Furthermore, the overall project includes an approx. 1.5 km long pressure pipeline (d = 1.8m) and a power house with two machine units and an approx. 2 km long pressure pipeline (d=0.7 m) including a small hydropower plant (50 Hz) as well as further facilities.

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Kick-off for further design services for the Belchen Road Tunnel

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The Belchen road tunnel was opened in 1970 and consists of two separate twin-lane tubes with unidirectional traffic, each having a length of 3.2 km. In early 2021, with the so-called rehabilitation tunnel going into operation, the Belchen tunnel system will comprise three twin-lane tunnels. ILF Consulting Engineers is also involved in the design and construction of the rehabilitation tunnel.

Extensive rehabilitation works were already carried out on the existing road tunnel from 2001 to 2003. However, the swelling rock (anhydrite) is increasingly leaving visible traces. In order to ensure the safety and capacity of one of Switzerland’s busiest roads, the two existing tunnels at Belchen will be refurbished one after the other as part of the second rehabilitation.

The intended measures include the replacement of parts of the in-situ lining, backfilling of cavities that were detected in the crown, design of utility lines and fire-fighting system, and expansion/new construction of cross passages. Water ingress in connection with swelling anhydrite are the great challenges in these complex ground conditions.

Being part of the design consortium, ILF was tasked with developing and implementing the project up to commissioning by the Swiss Federal Roads Office (FEDRO). The project was launched in June 2020 and is expected to be concluded by mid-2032.

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Ferngas receives the building permit for its gas pipeline

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According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, natural gas, having a market share of around 44%, is the most important source of heat and energy for private households in Germany. To continue to meet the associated high demand for natural gas, the network operator Ferngas, which operates a transmission and distribution network in Bavaria, Thuringia and parts of Hesse, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, is renewing one of its existing natural gas pipelines in Saxony and Thuringia.

The 125 km long pipeline, which runs through Saxony and Eastern Thuringia, was built in the 1950s and 60s and is to be completely renewed by 2023. The modernization is planned to take place in several sections, without any disruption being caused to the supply of gas along the existing pipeline route. In addition to the main lines and connecting lines, numerous ancillary facilities and route-related infrastructure are being renewed. The new pipeline will largely remain in the existing pipeline route, which will minimize the impact on both the environment and local residents.

The aim is to increase the operational flexibility of the network, as well as the capacity and the security of supply for the coming decades. Furthermore, the renewal of the pipeline will help improvements to be made to pipeline monitoring and control.

ILF Consulting Engineers has been commissioned by Ferngas to provide project control and project management services in accordance with the scope of services listed in the AHO (Committee of the Associations and Chambers of Engineers and Architects for the Fee Structure) booklet no. 9.

Having nearly completed the renewal of the pipeline in Saxony, the statutory authority approval and thus the building permit has now been received for the Thuringian section of the pipeline, enabling Ferngas to reach another decisive milestone in the renewal of its gas pipeline in Thuringia.

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