M&CCE exhibitor Arch Henderson has filled us in on its key parts in the long-running £350 million Aberdeen Harbour expansion project.

The Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project, for client Aberdeen Harbour Board was commenced way back in 2012 but will continue to be one of Europe’s largest greenfield port capital investments projects over the next few decades. With an investment in excess of £300 million, the project involves the construction of two new breakwaters, each 600m long, quay lengths of over 1.5km, and two million cubic metres of dredging.

Arch Henderson provided engineering services from feasibility stage through to construction. Its involvement started with the master planning of the harbour; working extensively with hydraulic modellers, environmental specialists and planning consultants to ensure viability of the new port. This led to various preliminary designs to allow options to be appraised, budgets to be built up, licences to be applied for, wave modelling to be undertaken, ground investigation to be targeted and ultimately construction to be procured. Arch Henderson were retained as integral members of the team as lead design consultants and Principal Designers (in accordance with CDM regulations) providing technical scrutiny of the contractor’s proposals throughout the construction period.

As the project developed, the company undertook the preliminary design of multiple solutions. This involved looking extensively at the layout of the new harbour, carefully marrying berthing and onshore requirements, wave regime, ground conditions, existing infrastructure, environmental and economic considerations. The schemes included geotechnical and structural designs of various quay constructions, including steel combi-wall piling, suspended concrete deck supported on piles and gravity concrete structures. In tandem with the quay structure, we developed dredging options taking cognisance of client requirements, wave agitation and environmental and ground conditions. Schemes were also developed for obtaining licences and creating layouts to ensure that the tender offered contractors the most flexibility when developing their own solutions.

Arch Henderson managed and supervised two multi-million pound marine based ground investigation campaigns within Nigg Bay. These advance works were procured and managed in accordance with NEC3 ECC and required stakeholder consultation and licensing in their own right. As the ground investigation works received EU grant funding strict procurement rules were adhered to, followed by careful project management and cost control.

Aberdeen’s Evening Express has reported that the final elements of the project, originally slated for completion this year, have been delayed until 2021 due to knock-on effects from unforeseen challenges with the South Breakwater dredging.

Visit Arch Henderson at M&CCE (Marine & Coastal Civil Engineering Expo) Southampton from 15-17 June 2021.