Digital Twins Year in Infrastructure Finalists Projects

Process Manufacturing Plant, the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Power Station, Florida, USA

Steel Plant, Zhangjiagang, China

Transportation Infrastructure, China

Wastewater Network, United Kingdom

Power Plant, Philippines

Tall Building, Australia

Wastewater Treatment Plant, Singapore

Rail Network, United Kingdom

Bridge, Italy

Process Manufacturing Plant, The Democratic Republic of the Congo

This project was for a new sulfuric acid manufacturing plant in the remote Southern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The long-distance hauling of acid created high environmental risks and coupled with the constrained supply of acid into the DRC motivated the client to fast track the project.

Hatch completed pre-feasibility, feasibility and detailed engineering with procurement responsibilities for a 1,400 ton per day sulfuric acid facility, a 20 megawatts electrical integrated waste heat power generation system and associated thermal cooling tower capacity of 117 megawatts.

Bentley’s plant design software allowed the project team to design a complete, intelligent digital twin to the lowest level of detail.

Bentley’s common data environment (CDE) was used to manage and share information between Hatch engineering offices in Canada, South Africa, India, Australia and in the DRC. No mechanical, piping or structural general arrangement drawings were produced due to the fast-track nature of the project. The project was able to move the engineering quality processes upstream as part of the 3D modelling effort compared to traditional drawing-based piping isometric quality processes. This was achieved through quality-controlled component workflows in the intelligent 3D model. This approach provided the project team with multiple alternative procurement strategies to lower cost of material supply.

Hatch were able to reduce production ramp-up time to design name plate after hot commissioning, from 6 months to one week.

Sulfuric Acid Plant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - Hatch

Power Station, Florida, USA

In 2018, Tampa Electric Company initiated a modernization project for its Big Bend Power Station located near Apollo Beach, Florida, to convert existing coal units to an efficient gas-fired combined-cycle facility. Sargent & Lundy, leaders in shaping the global power industry, were awarded the project.

Employing modern workflows, consistent best-practices and technical excellence, Sargent & Lundy relied on Bentley’s technology to deliver an innovative design project on time and in budget.

A digital twin of the existing infrastructure was created using laser scans of the physical assets and enhanced with the component’s engineering data allowing integration of the existing and new designs. This digital twin is updated continuously as the design matures to create a virtual copy of the facility at any point in the project.

The digital twin is critical to allow visualization and access to the physical and engineering data throughout the design, construction and operation of the facility.

Having a digital twin is a game-changer because engineers can troubleshoot design complexities within the physical reality of the turbine and its actual surroundings. We estimate using the digital twin in our 3D model saves hundreds of hours of design time and will result in a far superior design.

Of the estimated 3,200 physical plant drawings that the project expects to issue, we will eliminate approximately 45% of these drawings from the comment-issue cycle by performing collaborative design reviews with the owner. This approach will save substantial man hours in decreased document handling.

Images of Big Bend Power Station—courtesy of Sargent & Lundy
Tampa Electric Company, an EMERA company
3D ISO View w Utility Rack
TECO pipe steel

Steel Plant, Zhangjiagang, China

This project was selected for the "Major Projects of the 40th Anniversary of the Reform and Opening up of the People's Republic of China" and project photos are displayed in the National Museum of China. It was the first production line using the CASTRIP® strip casting and rolling production process in China and the third in the world.

The length of the production line of a traditional slab caster and hot rolling mill is about 800m, but the CASTRIP® process shortens the length to 50m. Its total energy consumption is about 1/5 and carbon dioxide emission generated are about 1/4 of that of the traditional hot continuous rolling process. It boasts a shorter process, less land occupation, less energy consumption and less investment. It has become a model for the construction of “green” steel plants.

In this project, MCC Capital Engineering & Research Incorporation Limited (CERI) was responsible for technical integration and engineering design, and installation and commissioning. CERI relied on Bentley’s digital factory platform to integrate various information systems, to realize the multi-flow integration of logistics, energy flow and information flow, and realize integrated control and emergency linkage.

CERI created a digital twin of the factory, and gave operations personnel virtual training, including emergency simulation and prevention. CERI also conducted quality analysis, process tracking, defect diagnosis and quality prediction.

Creation of the digital twin model and the visualization of project assets will bring infinite possibilities for later operation.

Castrip Ultra-thin Strip Hot Continuous Rolling Project in Zhangjiagang - MCC Capital Engineering & Research Incorporation Ltd

Transportation Infrastructure in Guizhou, China

Meitan-Shiqian Expressway is a key project in the 13th Five-Year Plan for Transportation Development in Guizhou Province. It is the first expressway in China that has applied BIM technology for construction and management at such scale and across all disciplines.

The application of BIM+GIS technologies in the project will accelerate the realization of digitalization and intelligence in the full life cycle of planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of transportation infrastructure and drive the transformation of the transportation industry.

Chongqing Traffic Planning, Survey and Design Institute used UAV’s to carry out oblique photography for the whole line of 113km of the project and used Bentley software for reality modeling to form a high-precision reality model, which comprehensively reflected the construction environment of the project.

By using the BIM construction management platform, the project achieved timely updates and linkage of information, paperless construction log processing and paperless office, and converted some on-site management into on-line management. With the help of the real site data of the reality model, work efficiency was improved, and progress was tracked and controlled in real time.

The project team combined the BIM model with information on site acceptance, safety inspection, land acquisition and relocation, progress, and investment, recorded the construction process, and accumulated digital assets, laying a foundation for future digital operations and maintenance, and truly achieving the goal of a digital twin.

Meitan-Shiqian Expressway in Guizhou Province - Guizhou Xinshi Expressway Construction Co., Ltd.

Wastewater Network, United Kingdom

Thames Tideway Tunnel aims to build a new sewer for London, preventing the frequent pollution of the River Thames by raw sewage.

Bentley technology is at the core of the delivery of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, a multi-tiered delivery involving some of the biggest design consultancies and construction contractors in the world, as well as many significantly smaller suppliers, external influencers, stakeholders and advisors. Due to the technical engineering challenges presented across the project, the project team ensured that all of the specialists have instant and up to date access to the data that the project would be producing, updating, maintaining and handing over to the end user during operation and maintenance for the duration of the assets life. For the project to run smoothly, the project team committed to digital delivery and transformation.

The BIM/CAD team maintained a digital twin of the site, which included a “look ahead.” This look ahead proved to be particularly useful in persuading residents that the project was doing as much as it could to minimize disruption to them. Visualization helped to remove assumptions and created a single, easily identifiable depiction of the design. The common benefit across all methods of viewing digital data was that there was no reproduction of information. It was all from the single source of information

Digital twins were used to prove the constructability of the project, including digital twins of the final asset, at handover, and also a digital twin representing the current situation on site, with a short- to medium-term look ahead.

Thames Tideway Tunnel (West Section) - Bazalgette Tunnels Limited

Power Plant, Philippines

The San Gabriel power plant in Batangas City, Philippines is the first to implement this new Siemens-Bentley co-developed solution: Asset Performance Management (APM) for Power Plants. The APM solution is populated with Siemens’ proprietary models that were developed specifically for the type of design of the San Gabriel Station, which utilizes the Siemens SGT5-8000H gas turbine in a one-on-one single shaft combined cycle configuration.

Siemens has implemented a full portfolio of digital twins for the plant. 3-D context capture was done utilizing Siemens' high-resolution drone technology and downloaded for processing utilizing Bentley’s ContextCapture. The 3-D models were developed into visualization models that were used by the plant staff in planning and implementing plant maintenance and improvements.

The fully operational digital twin provides a continuously updated picture of reliability and performance of the physical assets that can be used for simulation, performance, inspections, maintenance, as well as many more purposes. By analyzing the digital twin, the users at San Gabriel were able to visualize the assets, check their status, perform analyses, and generate insights in order to predict and optimize asset performance.

By combining Siemens asset models and Bentley’s APM framework, the San Gabriel plants expects to see reductions of up to 10% in operations and maintenance activities, a reduction in forced outages by a potential 25%, and a potential 10% increase in availability.

Siemens APM for Power Plants - Jann Jassen
Siemens APM for Power Plants - Jann Jassen

Tall Building, Australia

At the geographic center of the Sydney metropolis, this 50-storey office building is a central part of a $2 billion-dollar regeneration project. 6 & 8 Parramatta Square is currently the largest commercial project in Australia.

Having won the project through an open international design competition in 2013, JPW has led the design of the precinct. Stringent development, planning and environmental controls required inventive design solutions to site and building planning requirements: heritage context, solar access, built form and scale, sustainability, pedestrian permeability, infrastructure needs and flood plan requirements had to be carefully calibrated to ensure the building and public domain were seamlessly integrated.

For this project, the architectural digital twin serves as the control point for all other consultants to model against. The digital twin enables the resolution of complex spatial parameters and clashes between architecture and other disciplines. Problem solving can occur live between relevant parties rather than engaging through chains of communication and correspondence to arrive at a solution.

Considering that this project is one of the largest to be undertaken by JPW, having a digital twin has been critical in overcoming the inherent challenges that have been brought with the scale of the building. Without the digital twin, the project would not be able to be delivered. There are many facets of the building that would otherwise have been quite difficult to explore through 2D documentation alone.

6 & 8 Parramatta Square - Walker Corporation


The Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) comprises a conveyance system of link sewers and deep tunnels connecting the three Water Reclamation Plants at Changi, Kranji and Tuas to serve Singapore’s used water needs. DTSS Phase 2, which extends the existing deep tunnel system to the west, is presently underway.

CH2M, now part of Jacobs, was awarded the Professional Engineering Services contract for the detailed design and construction supervision of Tuas Water Reclamation Plant. Singapore’s national water agency stipulated the use of BIM not just for design and construction but also for tendering and asset management. Construction sequencing and scheduling (4D), quantities and cost estimation/forecasting (5D) and COBie deliverables (6D) were explicitly required to be hosted in a Common Data Environment (CDE).

A major innovation was the issuance of only iModels for tender. No drawings were produced except where strictly required such as schematics and details. This push to a model-based tender process is unique and never tried before within Jacobs. This provided many benefits; the design team did not have to produce as many drawings, saving approximately 3,000 drawing sheets. The tenderers were able to review the model in its entirety for their contract and utilize the iModel for quantity takeoffs, construction simulation and visualization.

In addition, the use of iModels for tender evaluation provided demonstratable evidence of the contractors BIM competence which could be evaluated and scored, thus providing assurance to the client and design team that further efficiencies could be made and a digital twin can be established post completion.

Tuas Water Reclamation Plant - Public Utilities Board Singapore

Rail Network, United Kingdom

HS2 will dramatically increase capacity on the West coast main line between London and the North. Mott MacDonald and design JV partner Systra are the lead designer for the Balfour Beatty Vinci contractor JV on the Area North main works civil contract. This is a UK project with an international flavor where over 600 people have worked on the design from 35 offices in 28 cities across 8 countries. Currently, the design team is engaged in Stage 1 for Area North where it is developing scheme design for 320 primary assets and associated 550 sub assets.

The project team took the decision to use a model-based delivery to minimize production of drawings and promote collaboration and engagement. This approach has contributed to streamlining design co-ordination across a multidiscipline team.

By choosing the ‘model-based’ approach, the project team would include the information within the model that would normally be on the drawing, hence the need to define the Level of Model Detail. By choosing this method it has driven efficiency and alleviated the “bottleneck” of checking and back drafting drawings. Removing such drawing production during this stage has helped reduce program and cost for the level of details achieved on the project whilst improving collaboration and engagement.

A digital twin was developed including component digital catalogue which has improved understanding, quality, and constructability.

High Speed Two Sectors N1 and N2 Main Works Civil Contract - High Speed Two LTD

Bridge, Italy

Following the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in 2018, Italferr was commissioned to develop the executive design of the new viaduct over the river Polcevera in Genoa.

The BIM methodology used in this project followed the "digital twins" approach that allowed Italferr to significantly change the way in which it dealt with the design and management of infrastructure work.

The digital twin has broad application in advanced design environments, in which a fully functioning virtual model is developed, allowing it to be improved by analyzing different design choices, right up to the project/prototype phase with an almost definitive or much more evolved approach compared to more conventional approaches.

The innovation consists in not having only a static design that represents a clearly defined phase, but a model that evolves over time as the work is constructed, up to the management of maintenance and any subsequent decommissioning. Italferr is focusing on the diffusion of a digital twin model, which encompasses the virtual-physical-virtual circle, thanks to the explosion of the IoT.

The task of the digital twin created in this way is to faithfully represent the state of the physical counterpart at any given moment during the work management phase, with the advantage that simulation algorithms can be applied to it to evaluate how the physical asset would react by varying the operating conditions. The digital twin also has the advantage of being able to be anywhere, regardless of where its physical twin is located.

The New Viaduct over the Polcevera - Italferr S.p.A.
The New Viaduct over the Polcevera - Italferr S.p.A.


Bentley Systems Inc