The £350 million expansion of Aberdeen Harbour has reached another major milestone with the arrival of the first caisson unit due this summer.
The caissons, which are each 50 metres long, 17 metres wide and 16 metres high, are the ‘building blocks’ of the closed-quay sections and the arrival of the first unit represents the first phase of quay construction for the project.
The size of the caissons has dictated that they be manufactured in La Coruna, in North West Spain where a large-scale manufacturing process has been established within the port. The first of these completed units is arriving by sea in Aberdeen summer 2018 with others to follow as the project progresses.
The arrival of the first caisson unit is one of several significant landmarks reached over the past months.
The largest accropode - at 16m3 - ever to have been produced by automated factory process was successfully completed at Aberdeen Harbour’s new, specially constructed, temporary building. The facility is home to a carousel production system, which will be used to manufacture around 9,000 accropodes, that will be used as the outer armour for the north and south breakwaters.
In addition, dredging activities having resumed with the arrival of the hydraulic backhoe dredger ‘Goliath’ – one of the largest backhoe dredgers in the world. The dredging operation will remove 2.2 million cubic metres of sediment to increase the water depth within the bay ahead of the construction of the quays over the next two years, and the subsequent development of world-class deep-water berthage.
Keith Young, engineering director, said: “The new expansion to Aberdeen Harbour will further enhance our offering to the energy and decommissioning sectors, adding to our already established record .
“The new port will add four new quays to Aberdeen Harbour, which will make Aberdeen the largest UK port in terms of berthage.
“The longest of the new quays is more than 500 metres in length and the port will open up another 1,400 metres of quayside in total, create an additional 125,000 square metres of lay-down area for customers, have a water depth of up to 10.5 (14.2 metres at MHWS) and a turning circle of 300m – making it the perfect support for the growing decommissioning industry, in the heart of the energy capital of Europe.”