The challange

Mega container ships (min. 14.000 TEU) should be able to moor safely in the Port of Antwerp at any time. The terminal is operated by PSA International-Antwerp, one of the largest container handler in the world. The waterway Scheldt has been dredged and deepened to ensure save ship access. New concrete mattresses have been installed for better berth scour protection and the 1.130 meter long quay wall has been thoroughly renovated. A smart invention of steel caissons was necessary to lengthen the quay wall underground because the sheet piles were to short, due to the deepening of the berths.

Ready for the biggest vessels of the world! > PSA Antwerp

Our contribution

Walhout Civil has been contracted by DISA International to design and engineer all the steelwork and caission constructions. The steel caissons were installed (at a depth of -22.0m TAW) in the front of the quay wall in order to repair the construction. Next, professional divers installed sheet piles in the caissons, fully injected them with polyurethane and filled the construction with underwater concrete. The operations were time-consuming and very risky due to high tides and strong currents.

Walhout Civil therefore invented a climbing system and unique cofferdam construction for professional diving operations, to work safely and protected, free of tides and strong currents. The more than 24.0 meter high cofferdam construction is demountable, transportable by truck and can be moved under the waterline using a special cable system. The successful cofferdam is prevents a lot of financial losses and has significantly improved the safety of professional diving operations. The innovation is now being used worldwide for quay wall repair.