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“The sand was carried out here, stones pulled up, and then EMW (Earth Moving Worldwide Ltd.) turned up"

Abu Dhabi: offshore construction projects for the oil and gas sectors

Coastline protection, 120 kilometres off shore

For several years Aertssen has taken part in major projects for the oil and gas sectors through its subsidiary Earthmoving Worldwide Ltd. (EMW). In addition to the earthmoving projects already completed, the past few years have been marked by a great expansion of offshore construction projects.

Construction & Infra
ABU DHABI

For several years Aertssen has taken part in major projects for the oil and gas sectors through its subsidiary Earthmoving Worldwide Ltd. (EMW). In addition to the earthmoving projects already completed, the past few years have been marked by a great expansion of offshore construction projects.

As part of our work in the dredging sector, we operate sixty huge machines, day and night, at a location 120 kilometres from shore, which protect newly created islands from the effects of currents, waves and wind. These new islands, created to facilitate the expansion of oil drilling in the region, will later serve as drilling platforms.

“The sand was carried out here, stones pulled up, and then EMW (Earth Moving Worldwide Ltd.) turned up,” says wharf manager Toon Crispyn, who will be working for Aertssen in the region over the next few years.

But Aertssen wouldn’t be Aertssen if it did not continue to seek out new, highly productive ways of working. “An interesting example of great technology at work is our two Sennebogen balance cranes, which Sennebogen made to measure for this project,” explains Toon crisping. Each of the two giants weighs 260 tonnes, and they are used to move the heaviest blocks – made of 8 tonnes of concrete – which protect the shoreline. The blocks are moved into place from land, and on a pontoon, until they reach their position twenty metres under water. To do this, the machines have been fitted out with grabbers that can move blocks weighing between 3 and 6 tonnes. “A combination of highly trained staff, alongside technological aids such as cameras, GPS systems and echoscope monitoring allow us to achieve results with these cranes that have not been seen before,” says Crispyn.

Vibrocompaction at depths of up to twenty metres
EMW has also acquired expertise in nonconventional compacting methods. Using a technique which we call ‘vibrocompaction’, we have been able to create a deep-sea compacted foundation in 10,000,000 m3 of sand. In this process, we drive fifteen-ton vibrating needles up to twenty metres into the sand, spraying water and air out of the sides and the tips at high pressure. When the needles reach the original seabed, we slowly pull them up again while they continue to vibrate. Together, the vibration and the watersaturated environment cause the sand bed to become fully compacted. “In this way, we have been able to enlarge our expertise for this region even further,” says Toon Crispyn, “allowing us to meet our customers’ needs better than ever before.”