US$ 560 million breakwater contract

By Chris Sleight19 July 2011

Spain's Acciona has won a € 400 million (US$ 560 million) contract to design and construct breakwaters for the new shipyard in Sâo Joäo da Barra, Brazil. The shipyard project is said to be the largest of its kind in Brazil.

Acciona will use its own caisson construction method to build the breakwaters, and the company said that this pioneering technology, which will be deployed for the first time in Latin America, was one of the reasons it won the contract.

The construction method involves using a large floating dock measuring some 66 m x 21 m to cast the concrete blocks that will form the breakwater. Acciona says this method uses fewer materials than traditional breakwater designs, and reduces the marine area affected by the structure. The prefabrication of the caissons in the floating dock also speeds up the construction schedule.

This scheme calls for some 3.8 km of breakwaters to be constructed, 2.8 km of which will be built using this method.

The shipyard is part of the wider Açu super port project, which is being financed by Brazilian investment company EBX Group. The overall scheme involves the construction of two terminals offering some 14 km of docks for large cargo vessels.

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