CSt07MadagascarPaper - DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF A PORT IN...

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1 DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF A PORT IN SOUTHEAST MADAGASCAR Dave Anglin and Jeff MacNabb 1 A new deepwater port, Port d’Ehoala, is being constructed at the southeastern tip of Madagascar in order to facilitate the export of ilmenite, a heavy mineral, via 60,000 DWT ships, as well as to accommodate the import/export of other commodities to/from this remote region. Baird was responsible for the planning, design, and construction of the port, which incorporates a 600 m long breakwater, a multi-use quay, dredging, land reclamation, and a groyne. The project site is challenging in terms of the environmental conditions, as well as the issues inherent in working in a remote region. The wave climate is severe and bi-modal in nature, with intermittent easterly seas superimposed over persistent southerly swells (Hs = 2 to 3 m is typical). In addition, storm waves in excess of Hs = 8 m are possible during a tropical cyclone. The severe wave climate dictated the requirement for a substantial breakwater to provide protection to the port. In addition, rapid advancement of breakwater construction was critical to the overall project schedule, as protection was required to facilitate dredging, land reclamation and quay construction. This paper will provide an overview of the development of Port d’Ehoala, with emphasis on the design and construction of the breakwater. INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND QIT Madagascar Minerals’ (QMM) mineral sands mining project, in the Fort Dauphin region of southeastern Madagascar, is the largest investment in the island’s history (US$660 million). Rio Tinto owns 80% of QMM through its subsidiary QIT; the Madagascar Government owns the other 20%. Production of ilmenite (titanium dioxide) from the mine is expected in late 2008. This project will be the catalyst for broader economic development of the country, while also providing environmental conservation opportunities. Additional information on the project may be found at http://www.riotintomadagascar.com. A key component of the project is a port to facilitate loading of ilmenite sand onto bulk carriers for export. Initial studies, dating back to the late 1980s, considered alternative sites for the port, as well as various port concepts. QMM, in cooperation with the Madagascar Government and the World Bank, developed a legal and fiscal framework for the project that includes a sheltered, multi-user, deep-water port facility. The US$145 million port will meet QMM’s requirements (initial ilmenite production of 750,000 tonnes/year, with potential expansion to two million tonnes/year), but will also provide facilities for the import/export of other commodities by third party users. Over time, it is expected that the port will make an important contribution to the economic development of the entire region.
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