Lebanon: Danish Companies Expand Port of Beirut

Danish Companies Expand Port of Beirut

The Port of Beirut in Lebanon has been rebuilt many times to accommodate for the growing sizes of modern container ships.

Two Danish companies, Ramboll and Aarsleff, are responsible for the marine works in connection with the latest harbour expansion.

Harbours around the world are being rebuilt, to enlarge container terminals and deepen harbour basins. This is necessary to ensure that harbours meet current standards for new container ships, as they grow in size year after year, and carry more containers than ever before. The giant ships require more space, new logistics and deeper harbours.

Expansion is crucial to ensure that harbours can accommodate for the largest container ships. There’s quite a bit of competition to attract these ships – and if a harbour isn’t geared to them, then they will go elsewhere. In Beirut, this meant a bigger and deeper harbour as well as building a new quay wall“, explains Ralph Guldberg Bjørndal, Project Director in Ramboll’s Ports and Geostructures department, and a prime mover behind the expansion of the Port of Beirut.

Expansion provides competitive edge

Ramboll is responsible for all design work related to the expansion – including the complicated deep water quay wall, constructed from concrete blocks stacked diagonally on top of one another.

Also reclamation of the old harbour basin to make space for an extra container terminal, as well as new fenders, bollards, crane rails and pavements. In other words, everything needed to utilise new harbour areas.

The old part of the Port of Beirut was built back in the 1950’s, when ships were much smaller. Nowadays, the trend in freight traffic is that ships can carry some 5,000-10,000 containers each. The harbour has been modernised over the years – so it can handle the larger ships, which are essential for financial and competitive strength,” says Ralph Guldberg Bjørndal.

Global experts in harbour planning and design

If you ask Ralph Guldberg Bjørndal the reason why Denmark wins Beirut harbour projects, he’ll reply that it is based on two factors. One is that Ramboll, back in 1998, designed a very successful wave breaker and quay during the first Beirut Port expansion, creating a strong, positive reputation. And the other is Ramboll’s core competencies in harbour planning, design, wave assessments, coastal engineering and pavement design.

Beyond the strong expertise in planning and design of marine structures, Ramboll has a particular experience in pavement design. Ramboll uses this expertise in pavements as well for airport landing strips throughout the world – which has led to the development of “QuayPave”, a Pavement Management System. The system is used to study the pavement conditions and to optimize maintenance efforts. The system is used in a number of A.P. Moller-Maersk (APM) container terminals among others throughout the world.

Cross-disciplinary approach ensures best result

In the Port of Beirut, Ramboll works across geography and departments to achieve the best possible result. Experts from Denmark and UK are collaborating on the project, as well as Ramboll’s recently acquired company in Hamburg, IMS, who are contributing with strong expertise in the areas of dredging and land reclamation.


Press Release, December 23, 2013




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