Williams Scotsman

Modules Go to the End of the Earth: the Kodiak Camp in AK

It takes three days to drive northbound from Anchorage, Alaska on the Dalton Highway and into the Arctic. At the end of the highway lies Deadhorse, an intensely oil and gas industrial focused town with a no-frills airport, basic lodging and one general store. This is a town at the end of the Earth where people “get up, work and sleep and that’s it” – but keep travelling on. Just a short distance further north of Deadhorse lays Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic Ocean. This is Alaska’s North Slope. Winters are long with an average thermometer reading of 7⁰ F and summer days might enjoy temperatures just above freezing. The North Slope is populated by: caribou, grizzly bears, Polar bears, and oil fields.

ConocoPhillips operates the Kuparuk River Unit, North America’s second largest oil field, 40 miles west of Prudhoe Bay. The work here is as demanding as the land itself. The dedicated crews that keep this operation running smoothly deserve all the comforts of home. Is that possible in the middle of nowhere? ConocoPhillips turned to WillScot for an answer.

This is a town at the end of the Earth where people “get up, work and sleep and that’s it”

The company required a scalable modular housing solution to support a variety of activities including capital project improvements, drilling operations and contractor field work. The camp – called Kodiak – although temporary had to replicate the comfort and feel of a permanent camp. The common core must be expandable to accommodate bed space growth and it absolutely needed a sophisticated electrical power system to work efficiently with the limited shore power available. Did we also mention ConocoPhillips had a demanding delivery schedule?

Our Alaska branch had a strong relationship with the customer and a thorough understanding of their specific needs and the demanding delivery schedule. Our team’s experience in modular construction instilled a confidence in ConocoPhillips that we would not let them down – and we didn’t. We quickly reserved space in the modular fabrication plant and the decision was made to expand the camp in phases thus reducing any unfavorable impact on the camp’s operations or existing residents.

The original Phase I of the Kodiak Camp went through no less than thirty versions and camp configurations before the final design and solution was agreed upon. At least that many versions were required on each of the subsequent phases. Once that was accomplished work began on the “value engineering process” because configuration adjustments can significantly reduce the cost of the equipment. Those negotiations were literally worked out at “zero-dark-thirty” with the manufacturer and the engineering team. Through long days and weekends the WS Alaska team persevered and effectively orchestrated the cost savings and design requirements to make this camp a reality.

Each sleeping accommodation featured a single bed, a desk, bathroom and ample storage space. A separate laundry room with plenty of washers/dryers ensured everyone always had a fresh set of clothes. Showers with locker rooms were ready to wash the grime away. The kitchen equipment started with a base package and evolved into a bright, custom design – you need a well-equipped kitchen producing hearty food in this climate! Beyond the essentials, the camp also included a fully equipped gym and entertainment center with TVs and game tables. It was also vital that the camp have a “state of the art” electrical load shed function to allow a much smaller emergency standby generator than normally required – a first! This feature took countless hours to devise and tasked the engineering team and the equipment supplier to their limit. That was a huge cost savings for the customer. Water and waste water management with PLC based systems faced similar challenges but effective solutions were found. Need we add that all of the units and systems were Artic capable?

The Kodiak Camp was installed in three phases: Phase I consisted of 204 beds and 3 wings, Phase II consisted of 68 beds and 1 wing, and the final Phase consisted of 136 beds and 2 wings. What initially began as a 50 bed, 32-unit mobile camp became a 408 bed/298 unit deluxe, stand-alone, state of the art housing facility. WillScot modular solutions delivered home to the tundra!

Do you have a project in Alaska, the Yukon Territory or northern British Columbia that could use a facility like this? This camp is coming off rent and available for new occupants. Please contact Don Meahan directly by phone at (907) 315-9755 or email don.meahan@willscot.com  for more details.

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