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Construction of the new deep water port of Mina Jebel Ali, commenced in 1977, was undertaken by several consortia of UK/European contractors, the major civil works — including extensive quay wall construction and dredging & reclamation — being designed and their construction supervised by British consulting engineers Halcrow (now part of ch2m).
Mina Jebel Ali in January 1980, just prior to flooding of the inner basin
Completed blockwork at Quay 3 (14m depth). The basin was dredged to final depth after flooding.
The greater part of the new quay walls, in excess of 16km in total, was constructed in mass concrete blockwork.
Capping beams were of reinforced composite precast/insitu construction.
Backfill included compacted sandstone, pumped in as spoil from the inshore dredging, and used to raise levels generally in the port area.
While this type of wall can be placed underwater, the Jebel Ali quays were constructed wholly in dry excavation, the two enormous basins — of 11.5m and 14m depth respectively — being flooded on completion.
Block placing at Quay 9 (11.5m depth). The end of the tubular pile wall construction is just visible in the background.
Mass concrete blocks, each weighing up to 44t, were produced in a central casting yard, and subsequently placed by Manitowoc 4600 crawler-mounted cranes.
These machines, of which two were in service on the project, were equipped with uprated engine cooling systems, to cope with the onerous duty cycle and searing Gulf temperatures.
Dredging & Reclamation
Self-Elevating Offshore Dredger Al Wassl Bay at work in the approach channel, loading to a self-positioning spoil barge.
As the Dubai Port Authority's Jebel Ali Terminal, the Port has since become a cornerstone of the United Arab Emirates' and the region's economies, and home to the Jebel Ali Free Zone.