Giant new concrete breakwater blocks installed at Aberdeen’s £350m harbour expansion project

One of the giant new accropodes - subsea breakwaters - which are being installed at the Aberdeen harbour expansion project
One of the giant new accropodes – subsea breakwaters – which are being installed at the Aberdeen harbour expansion project

The largest ever man-made unreinforced concrete breakwaters designed to resist the action of waves on coastal structures to have been produced by automated factory process has been successfully completed in Aberdeen.

A new factory is 15 metres high and 120 metres long and has been specially constructed to support the £350 million Aberdeen harbour expansion project, which is due for completion in 2020.

The facility is home to a carousel production system, which will be used to manufacture around 9,000 breakwater-blocks – known as accropodes – that will be used as the outer armour for the north and south breakwaters.

The first 16m3 accropode – which was completed just last week – is the largest to have been produced by an automated factory process.

Keith Young, Aberdeen Harbour Board’s engineering director, said: “The new temporary facility uses the latest automated technology to ensure a high quality of construction is maintained through each accropode and that they are produced as efficiently as possible.

“We have taken care to engineer these new accropodes to protect South Habour from a 1-in-200-year storm.”

In addition, the first caisson – one of the concrete ‘building blocks’ that will be used to start the closed-quay sections of the facility – has been constructed. The caisson, which is 50 metres long, 17 metres wide and 16 metres high, will be floated into position this summer after being transported from Spain.

15 May 2018

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