In 2005 the Abu Dhabi Ship Building company completed a $50 million upgrade and expansion of its shipbuilding and repair facility, helping the company to meet its vision of being the most technologically advanced shipyard in the Gulf region.
Halcrow was involved with the project from its inception in 1997 through to completion, having been appointed for the initial masterplanning of the upgrade and expansion, and also for detailed design, contract procurement and site supervision.
The masterplanning process began with the identification and assessment of the potential market for the facility's services, which led to the preparation of a range of different whole life costed options for upgrading and extension. These options were refined, using value management and engineering techniques, and a business case was developed with the client to define the most viable option.
Key factors in the development of the design were:
- the need to keep the existing busy facility fully operational throughout construction
- the need for foundations and ground improvement methods to cater for extremely poor ground, consisting of loosely compacted sands reclaimed by dredging from the adjacent Mussafah Channel; and
- the requirement to ensure any new structures were designed to cope with extremely corrosive ground and water environments
The final scheme included a 5,000 tonne shiplift with end and side transfer systems, two covered and three open berths, workshops, stores, offices, and an accommodation complex, and a 350m berthing frontage designed to meet minimum draught requirements.
- precast concrete shiplift piers on steel maritime piles equipped with winches capable of lifting 85m long vessels - with an expansion potential to 100m;
- over 600m of ground-supported slabs for the ship transfer system, repair dry berths and construction halls
- over 2.8 km of land rails
- 86m x 64m x 38m construction halls, fitted with 35 tonne overhead cranes for military and commercial ship refit; and
- a sheet pile quay wall
Now that the upgrade and expansion is complete, the shipyard has a total area of 175,000 sq m, employs 800 people, and can build and refit the latest generation of both naval and commercial vessels of up to 5,000 tonnes.