A project is currently under way to build a new, larger fishing port in Casablanca, Morocco. For dredging operations the subcontractor, Somit, is using a dredger carrying an excavator equipped with an Atlas Copco HB 7000 hydraulic breaker. To ensure reliable operation of the attachment underwater, Atlas Copco supplied a complete package comprising the breaker, a compressor, and an underwater connector kit.
The construction of the new fishing port involves extensive dredging of the channel and the basins and the main contractor has subcontracted the dredging and marine works to Somit, an Italian company. The primary equipment used by Somit is Bucephalus, a self-propelled backhoe dredger equipped with a Liebherr R 984.
Seeking a suitable breaker to mount on the Liebherr excavator, Somit consulted Atlas Copco. Taking into account the working depth of 5–18 m, Atlas Copco recommended an HB 7000 hydraulic breaker with an underwater kit. Compressed air is provided by an XAHS 347 Cd compressor, also mounted on the dredger.
The equipment was supplied as a complete package and the installation of compressed air lines for the underwater kit on the Liebherr excavator was tested successfully and went into operation.
Mustapha El Idrissi, sales engineer at Atlas Copco Marocco said : “Underwater breaking requires a special installation. The compressor and kit are mandatory to avoid serious damages. The underwater connector kit, with protective equipment, feeds compressed air from the compressor to the breaker's percussion chamber. This prevents water entering the attachment and avoids problems of ‘water hammer’. An automatic switch prevents the breaker from being started up without ventilation.”
Morocco's national ports authority (ANP) appointed Dumez Maroc, part of VINCI Construction, as the main contractor for the construction of Casablanca's new fishing port. Started in February 2015 with completion scheduled for January 2017, the new port will provide more than twice the surface area compared to the existing facility.
In addition to the dredging, the project involves building a main breakwater, a secondary breakwater (500 lm), two quays, 11 hectares of quayside surfaces, a slipway, and 240 m of floating landing stages.