Location: Port Fourchon, Louisiana

M-I Swaco Facility

Gulf Coast salt water and the corrosive chemical additives used in mixing drilling mud had taken a toll on this port facility. The existing painted steel structure had been deteriorating over the years, requiring significant maintenance and upkeep. That's when PROForms FRP structural shapes and PROGrid molded FRP grating products provided a low-maintenance solution.


In addition to maintenance concerns, choosing a lightweight material was key. All the piping and tanks were already in place and could not be torn out. That meant the FRP (fiberglass-reinforced polymer or fiberglass-reinforced plastic) structure needed to be light enough for workers to install the majority of the job by hand – so they could get into tight spaces without much heavy equipment.


Bedford supplied engineering, design, pultrusion and complete fabrication of the mud mixing platform, including PROForms stairs, ladders, handrails, PROGrid molded grating and all structural members for columns and supports. We also provided on-site guidance when material arrived to kick off the project as well as throughout the construction as changes occurred. Our lightweight pultruded composite material saved the client on heavy equipment costs and installation time, but that’s not the only advantage they gained. Because M-I Swaco could not completely stop production during the project, we delivered the FRP structural members in sections. This allowed them to shut down one tank at a time. Price was also a major consideration, and Bedford was able to value-engineer the structure to the recommended load requirements and save the client thousands. The installation crew was able to complete the project four weeks earlier than expected, thanks to a knowledgeable installation crew at M-I Swaco and on-time delivery from Bedford as needed – even when the project was ahead of schedule.

M-I personnel and project managers are extremely pleased with how the finished platform looks and functions. Best of all, the projected savings from early completion and Bedford’s value engineering is estimated to be around $50,000 to $75,000.

Learn more about the custom FRP solutions we are creating for clients. Read about how our FRP was used to help a Electrical Substation in Texas!