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Deep compaction for Dubai Harbour nears completion

Keller and Van Oord have nearly completed deep compaction for Dubai Harbour.

The new 1.86M.m² Dubai Harbour project required substantial land reclamation to create a new peninsula. Van Oord was contracted for the dredging and Keller for ground improvement.

Earlier this year, Keller started ground compaction on 7M.m³ across approximately 380,000m2 of land.

Deciding not to compact the ground from either a marine platform or by temporarily extending the reclamation, Keller used crawler crane.

“Our solution was to use a larger-than-usual crawler crane, eliminating the need for expensive marine equipment or extensive overfill and cutback,” said Keller project manager Raja Mohamad. “When the shoreline is as long as this [2,675m], a 20m-wide overfill would have added close to an extra million cubic metres and had a big impact on schedule and cost.”

The material for the reclaimed land was created the material that Van Oord dredged to construct a channel to allow large cruise ships access to the harbour.

“We were able to support Van Oord before the tender stage so they could reassure their client of the deviation from the original plan,” said Keller technical director Guido Freitag. “We needed to show we could compact the material sufficiently for it to fulfil the geotechnical performance requirements.

“Drawing on the expertise of our engineering and operations teams, along with input from the Keller Vibro Global Product Team, we were able to carry out a series of tests to prove that it would meet the right level of quality,” Freitag added.

Cone penetration tests weren’t suitable for the conditions, so the team used a combination of traditional boreholes and standard penetration tests, along with dynamic penetrometer testing.

“With this type of project there’s always a risk that the source material won’t meet the client’s aspirations,” Freitag said. “But we were open to an innovative approach and worked with them to prove their concept, in turn saving them time and money.”

Keller’s work is due to be completed by the end of this month. The harbour will be the region’s largest marina and a cruise ship terminal when completed.

Led by developer Meraas Holding, the project is the cornerstone of the Emirate’s vision to attract 20 million tourists a year by 2020.

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