Abstract

Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company is Constructing a new refinery at AI Zour, Kuwait. The refinery site's native land is low lying and contains areas of loose or poor soils known as Sabkha (soil consisting of deposits which are usually soft and susceptible to salt leaching). The low-lying area is prone to flooding from extreme rainfalls and from extreme high tides. The site of the Al-Zour Refinery requires soil remediation to improve its load bearing properties and it requires to be raised in levels to alleviate the risk of flooding and enabling the underground services to be above the groundwater level, as well as, providing stormwater drainage system of the refinery to be a gravity drained, which will save major capital cost.

KNPC (Former Owner of the Project) has contracted with M/s Van Oord to perform the Ground Remediation and Site Preparation for the project site. The work package is consisting of the preparation, remediation, and filling of the ground in the Al-Zour refinery area to the designed level, including testing and (geotechnical) monitoring. The majority of the fill is imported by dredging; hydraulic transport and disposal of fill materials obtained from selected marine borrow areas. To repopulate the affected marine habitat in the area where the sand was excavated, the crushed rocks are placed on the seabed to create an artificial reef, so that marine habitat can blossom in 5-10 years’ time.

The estimated quantity required to complete the project was 60,000,000 m3. Which is equivalent to 40 times the total volume of Burj Khalifa in Dubai. By using this approach (dredging the sand from the sea) we had prevented the risk of using the public roads to transport around 3.3 million truckloads. Another challenge of the project is the pumping distance for the heavy sand, the closest area is located approximately 5.5 KM from the nearest offshore vessel stand.

This paper will elaborate on the major challenges in this project, where the weak parts of the site are dominant by Sabkha. Therefore, sand was driven in to replace the in-situ soil by placing a layer of sand and dropping heavy concrete blocks. The sand formed columns and a solid base for the material above. Subsequently, another layer of good dredged sand is placed and compacted further. until the final level is reached. This paper will provide insight on how the farsighted vision and planning for major projects from environmentally, safety, logistically and quality point of view has led to a successful execution within the required time period and allocated budget.

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