Home    |    News    |   About Us    |    Contact Us
+1 (434) 572.3445

Arctic 'Igloo' takes shape on Burlington property

arctic iglooHIGH-TECH IGLOO – That's what this inflatable structure appears to be, but it's actually a drilling warehouse manufactured here by Lindstrand, USA, and bound for the north slope of Alaska. Pictured, from left, are Richard Tisch of Fairweather Exploration and Production Services, Angela Lewis of Lindstrand and Dan Gilbert of Base-X, which are cooperating in the venture. (G-V Photo/Doug Ford)

Like something out of a science fiction movie, it rises from the pavement next to the former Burlington plant in Halifax, but its final destination is the north slope of Alaska.

It may look like an igloo for a very large Eskimo, but it's really an inflatable drilling warehouse, built here by Lindstrand, USA and bound for Prudhoe Bay, according to Richard Tisch of Fairweather Exploration and Production Services of Anchorage.

His company had been researching different types of shelters for drilling purposes on Alaska's north slope, when they came upon Lindstrand, a noted manufacturer of high-tech inflatable buildings, explained Tisch.

"It'll end up being a warehouse to contain tubulars, drilling fluids, casing and drill pipe," said Tisch, adding the structure will be enclosed with a face on either end with 40-foot wide metal doors.

When inflated, the building is 80 feet wide, 40 feet tall and 150 feet long, with a shop at one end to work on equipment, such as helicopters, Tisch pointed out.

Angela Lewis of Lindstrand said the building is designed to withstand temperatures of 60 degrees below zero and sustained winds of 60 MPH.

"It's made of Scantarp," said Lewis, explaining that her company normally uses lightweight PVC for similar projects, but needed heavier material in this case to withstand the harsh conditions found in Alaska.

The former Burlington site provided the largest level hard-surfaced spot Lindstrand could find to put the building together, continued Tisch.

"Research and development started five or six months ago, and construction started at Lindstrand about four months ago," he said.

"It's complete now, and we're putting it together here to see if it all fits.

"We'll deflate it, package it up, put it on trucks, and take it across country through Canada to Anchorage, Fairbanks and on to Prudhoe Bay.

Base-X, a provider of folding frame structures, power systems and expeditionary gear, is also involved with the project, and Dan Gilbert was on hand to watch the structure inflated to its impressive dimensions.

"Base-X represented Lindstrand, and now Fairweather is representing Lindstrand and Base-X in this industry in that part of the world," explained Gilbert.

Lewis put the size of her company's project in perspective, saying it's eight times as large as anything they've ever built before.

from the Gazette-Virginian