Aqaba New Port

Aqaba New Port

The Aqaba New Port development was a significant project of national importance in Jordan and involved the full relocation of Aqaba Port to a new location within the southern industrial zone of ASEZA near the border with Saudi Arabia. ByrneLooby was appointed to provide value engineered solutions including the design of the new quay wall for this US$110m new build port on the Jordanian coastline.

Aqaba New Port

Our Role

As the civil, structural and geotechnical designer on the Aqaba New Port project, ByrneLooby in Galway were involved at an early stage in designing a number of aspects for the scheme, from initial concept drawings through to completed detailed designs. Designs for the marine services harbour, dredging and reclamation work were also provided by ByrneLooby.

Aqaba New Port

Value Add

ByrneLooby designed a solution that had to meet strict corrosion and structural requirements whist also being suitably robust to withstand a significant seismic event of 0.224g and the potential for liquefaction. ByrneLooby explored many value engineering solutions with the client, many of which were ultimately adopted and utilised in the design.

  • Spiral welded tubular steel combi piles with varying tube thickness, making savings in steel with approximately 40% of pile length
  • Redesign of the tieback anchor system to an embedded wall system to reduce the need for bulk excavations
  • Introduction of a number of precast elements for the coping skirt walls

In addition, ByrneLooby designed a bespoke tie rod connection plate in a location of a quay wall return corner to simplify the tie-back system arrangement. These solutions resulted in an improvement in durability and program and were ultimately cost-effective to the client.
Aqaba New Port
Aqaba New Port

Challenges & Solutions 

Although relocating the port created opportunities to position the facilities for growth, it demanded innovative thinking to overcome the testing conditions in the region. The soil in the Levant region comprises silt and sand deposits and is prone to seismic ground activity brought on by frequent earthquakes, which can place significant strain and can lead to instability.

To overcome the challenging conditions, ByrneLooby applied adaptive thinking to deliver resilient solutions. Our geotechnics team undertook a site-specific seismic review, including a Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA), to ensure the design met national guidance and previous case history evidence. Following a desktop study, our teams concluded that an appropriate seismic acceleration of marginally higher magnitude than allowed in the FEED (Front End Engineering Design) was more appropriate. Applying this refined approach to the seismic design and liquefaction, we provided a robust and cost-efficient design. We applied this seismic design for the quay walls, by taking a performance approach described in PIANC (2001) Seismic Design Guidelines for port structures.

There was significant congestion of large diameter tie rods in a constricted complex corner of the quay wall. To save buildability issues on-site, our engineers designed a bespoke single splice plate which transferred the anchors into a single large splice plate and then transferred the load onwards to the tie-back wall systems.

Aqaba New Port