Reclamation works for first phase of Tuas port three-quarters done

Zhaki Abdullah Straits Times 23 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - Reclamation works for the first phase of the Tuas port are three-quarters complete, with the last of the caissons - 15,000-tonne structures that form wharves - being installed on Tuesday afternoon (April 23).

The installation of the 221st structure - the caissons make up some 8.6km of seawalls at Tuas - puts the construction of the first phase of the mega-port on track to be completed in 2021.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is on track to hand over the land required for PSA Corporation to start building the container terminals, with the first two berths to start operating by 2021, said MPA chief executive Quah Ley Hoon at the event.

She noted the first phase - a $2.42-billion project by DIAP-Daelim, a joint venture between Belgian firm Dredging International Asia Pacific and Korean outfit Daelim Industrial - will have 21 deep-water berths, which will allow the port to handle about 20 million 20ft equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo annually.

Among the innovations used in the construction was the TemaRock, a rock mound construction vessel developed for the Tuas project by DIAP-Daelim.

Caissons are typically placed on rock mounds on the sea floor.

These rock mounds would usually require four vessels, 45 workers including divers, and up to 132 hours to construct for a project as big as the first phase of the Tuas port.

The next-generation facility - expected to be fully operational by 2040 - will allow up to 65 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) to be handled a year.

The TemaRock - a name made up of Temasek and rock - does the work of all four vessels, and required only 66 hours to construct the rock mounds with only eight workers, without needing divers.

A special machine was also used to bend and cut reinforcement steel bars, which are used to strengthen concrete. The process is usually done manually, exposing workers to hazards.

Solutions such as these helped make the construction work safer and more efficient, said Ms Quah.

Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan, who witnessed the installation of the final caisson, congratulated the engineering team and commended their spirit of innovation.

In her speech, Ms Quah said the Tuas port must be a smarter one, catering to the shipping landscape of the future, and noted MPA is working with partners to develop new digital systems for Singapore's port.

When fully operational in the 2040s, the new port is expected to be able to handle some 65 million TEUs.

"This will strengthen our global hub port status and more importantly, allow us to plug into the growing intra-Asia trade and global supply chain," said Ms Quah.

Tuas mega port to open in phases from 2021
Aaron Chong Channel NewsAsia 23 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: The Tuas Terminal mega port will commence its first phase of operations in 2021 with two berths for ships.

This was revealed by the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) which also said that it had reached a construction milestone for the project following the installation of the 221st and final caisson on Tuesday (Apr 23).

A caisson is a prefabricated box-like concrete structure, around the height of a 10-storey HDB block, that is transported offshore and then sunk into water to form part of the permanent wharf line.

MPA said the installation of the final caisson was “critical” as it enabled the completion of the wharf construction and for the first few berths to be operationally ready. The usage of caissons compared to conventional piling to create a deep foundation results in improved quality of the wharf structure, added MPA.

The authority added that the foundational land created from land reclamation processes and the laying of caissons will be transferred to PSA, so that the port operator can begin construction on container yards and terminal facilities.

MPA also said that the two berths at Tuas Terminal will operate alongside existing container terminals at Pasir Panjang, Keppel and Brani which will be progressively shut down when their leases expire and Singapore’s port operations are consolidated at Tuas Terminal from 2027.

PSA told CNA that the berths at Tuas will increase its total handling capacity and complement current port operations. They will be able to handle what it describes as “mega container vessels”, including “the world’s largest container vessel”, PSA added.

Construction for Phase 1 of Tuas Terminal commenced in 2015 and cost S$2.42 billion, with 294 hectares of land reclaimed, MPA said. It will feature 21 deep-water berths that can handle about 20 million standard-sized container units yearly.

Meanwhile, Tuas Terminal will continue to be developed in another three phases, and is targeted to be fully operational from 2040. The facility can eventually handle up to 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo annually.

“The capacity of up to 65 million TEUs per annum enables us to meet future demands and to maintain Singapore’s competitive edge, strengthening our Global Hub Port status. When (the) Tuas container terminal is fully developed in 2040s, it will become the world’s largest container terminal located in a single location,” said Mr Tham Wai Wah, MPA’s chief engineer and director of engineering & project management.


The MPA also highlighted that it developed five other innovations in the construction of the Tuas Terminal, besides the usage of caissons.

One such innovation was that of deploying a specially designed and fitted vessel called the “TEMAROCK”, a next generation, all-in-one rock mound construction vessel that automates the process of rock laying, rock compacting, as well as underwater surveying. Conventional processes require multiple vessels as well as the assistance of divers.

MPA said that the deployment of the “TEMAROCK” resulted in safer operations, less manpower, a reduction in material wastage and a 50 per cent reduction in caisson installation time.

The project also saw the re-using of materials such as excavated earth from land construction projects as an eco-friendlier approach. This, MPA said, reduces the quantity of sand required for reclamation by around 70 per cent for Phase 1 and 50 per cent for Phase 2. MPA expects to achieve cost savings of around S$2 billion.

Source: CNA/ga