The Main Quay of Marine Base & Subsea Fabrication Yard project consists in the construction of retaining and foundation structures and of reinforced concrete deck of quay.

The construction site is located within the Santos industrial port. During the construction phases all the industrial activities, as the vessels transit, the berthing and mooring procedures, the loading and unloading of goods, have been guaranteed without restrictions or interruptions.

The project has been designed, developed and realized to solve specific issues such as:

  • Very unfavourable geological-geotechnical context, characterized by a very soft clay layer of 98.4 feet thickness.
  • Soil height of 51 feet.
  • Very high distributed and concentrated loads (157470 stones crane).

In order to overcome these issues, an innovative structure was designed and carried out, exceeding the classical concept of vertical retaining wall.

The main quay is 367 yards long and 38.2 yards wide, with two lateral wing-walls 87.2 yards long. The total surface area covered by the deck is approximately 15’600 square yards and the dredging level is equal to -39.4 feet from medium sea level.

The retaining soil structure consists of a combination wall, formed by steel piles of large diameter combined with steel sheet-pile elements. The other foundation structures consist in steel piles. All retaining and foundation elements are connected at the top by a reinforced concrete deck, having variable thickness from 11.8 feet to 4.0 feet.

In particular, considering the typical cross section, the retaining and foundation structures on the sea side are composed of:

  • a 15° inclined combination wall towards sea side, formed by 151 feet long steel piles with diameter of 48 inches and variable thickness, combined with 101.7 feet long AZ19 sheet pile;
  • a 15° inclined steel piles system towards sea side, formed by 171 feet long steel piles with diameter of 36 inches and variable thickness.

The foundation structures, on the yard side, are composed of:

  • a first row of 164 feet long vertical steel pile, having diameter of 32 inches and variable thickness;
  • 5 rows of 153 feet long vertical steel pile, having diameter of 32 inches and thickness of 0.4 inches.

The construction showed a level of complexity very high. Some complexity items were known before the start of construction, i.e. detected during the design phase. Other complexity items, instead, were encountered during the construction phase.


Guarujá St. Paul, Brasile

City, Country

Saipem do Brasil-Centro de Tecnologia e Construcao Offshore


2012 – 2014



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