Keller has reported that work on the expansion of the Tanger-Med port in Morocco is on target to open in 2019 after it successfully installed a new retaining wall on the scheme.
Keller started working on the scheme in March last year after it was commissioned to develop a solution to enable existing berths to be deepened from 16m to 18m along a 450m length.
The work is part of a wider scheme – known as Tanger-Med II – which Keller is working on as the main contractor that involves construction of 1.6km of new key to increase the number of container terminals at the port from two to four.
“The client, Tangier Mediterranean Special Agency, was looking for a high-level geotechnical contractor with a very strong design office,” said Keller France overseas sales manager Dominique Boisseleau. “We came up with an attractive solution for the retaining wall that won us the tender.
“We wanted to find a solution that didn’t involve concrete, as that can be very difficult at depths of 16m. Part of the brief was that the design had to last 100 years, so our engineers came up with a retaining wall made of tube piles. We calculated that the strength of the tubes installed into the bedrock would be sufficient to assure the stability of the berth after dredging.”
Design on the solution involving installation of 411 15m long, 1,016mm diameter piles was completed in July last year. Keller brought equipment from around the world to undertake the work with a new 275t Kobelco crane shipped from Japan, a vertical travel lead system to guide the piles from Canada, piles made in Spain and other equipment ordered from Finland.
Piles were installed at 1m centres using down the hole methods with permanent casing.
Ground conditions were challenging with sandstone encountered, as well as very hard pelite mud rock but the work was still completed on schedule.