Strong foundations

Designed to protect a harbour from waves, jetties must be able to withstand the full force of nature, especially when they are used for unloading LNG, oil carriers or berthing vessels. Therefore, the design and installation of their secure foundations is critical.

At Jurong Port in Singapore – a leading international multipurpose operator handling general, bulk and containerised cargo – jetty construction was an important element of a recent expansion project. The port built a new facility to store clean, low-sulphur petroleum. Known as Jurong Port Tank Terminals, this required deep-water berths and dedicated jetties to allow it to receive large tankers transporting 160,000 tonnes of liquid bulk cargo.

One of the leading civil contractors in Singapore, Antara Koh Pte Ltd, was responsible for the construction. To provide a sufficient foundation to support the jetties, hundreds of piles (812mm in diameter) had to be installed in hard clay. In addition to challenging soil conditions, Antara Koh also had to contend with a tight project deadline and needed reliable equipment as soon as possible to start on schedule.

High-performance hammers with maximum uptime

Antara Koh turned to IQIP for support on this complex project after seeing an IQIP Hydrohammer perform favourably in comparison to a competing product on another project in Malaysia. They noted the high quality and reliability of the S-280, as well as its superior efficiency and minimal maintenance.

The S-280 model belongs to IQIP’s S-range of hammers, which is especially designed for driving steel piles, and suitable for all types of onshore and offshore piling and foundation work. These hydraulic impact hammers have developed a proven track record in the Coastal & Civil, Oil & Gas, and Offshore Wind & Renewables markets since they were introduced in 1984.

Expertise and flexibility

In addition to reliable, high-performance equipment, IQIP provided knowledge, experience and flexibility to help Antara Koh overcome their challenges. To ensure that the S-280 was the best tool for pile driving in the hard clay soil conditions, IQIP conducted a drivability study (one of the company’s Advisory Services).

Rather than using general software or information, IQIP has in-house software that includes historical data collated over decades. This often enables its predictions on soil surveys to be more accurate than those conducted by third parties or the actual customers.

The drivability study also identified an issue with the piles designated for the jetty foundations. The wall thickness of the proposed piles was too thin and pile-driving operations would have subjected them to maximum yield stress. On this discovery, IQIP helped Antara Koh implement a slight change to the design, ensuring the piles stood up to the power of the S-280 – and therefore avoided a problem before it occurred.

Evidence of IQIP’s flexibility is its ability to support Antara Koh from its local office and equipment yard in Singapore, just a 30-minute drive from the port’s location. While the S-280 was being shipped from the Netherlands, a journey that takes four to five weeks, IQIP was able to supply an identical hammer from its rental fleet in Singapore temporarily so that the customer could start work on schedule.

“IQIP’s global presence was indeed critical to the success of the project”

IQIP’s global presence was indeed critical to the success of the project. From its local office, its technicians could provide service, maintenance and training to Antara Koh’s employees on site. This high level of support also ensured a smooth delivery and handover of the new hammer once it arrived and maximised its performance.

The combination of a reliable piece of equipment, offering high performance with maximum uptime, supported by the knowledge and expertise of IQIP, enabled the customer to install the piles quickly, efficiently and on schedule. Satisfied with their overall experience, Antara Koh later invested in a used S-280 from IQIP, supplied from stock in Singapore. They have since signed an order for a further three S-350 hammers to be used on another project in Bangladesh.

Innovating infrastructure for the future

Upon completion, the new storage facility at Jurong Port strengthened its position as one of the world’s top bunkering ports for low-sulphur fuels. Up to 252,000 cubic metres of clean, low-sulphur petroleum can now be stored at the 16ha facility. It also opened ahead of the International Maritime Organisation’s worldwide ban on ships using fuels containing more than 0.5% sulphur, in a move to help reduce maritime pollution.

By supporting its customer, IQIP played a part in innovating the infrastructure at Jurong Port, which then enabled it to create value for its customers. This development will also ensure Singapore remains competitive in attracting strong investments from key players across various industries. It also supports the innovation of the maritime industry as it moves towards a more sustainable future.