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Fugro innovation delivers seabed Geo-data for South African port expansion

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Fugro innovation delivers seabed Geo-data for South African port expansion

Fugro’s self-elevating platforms being positioned in Richards Bay ready for their geotechnical site characterisation for the planned port expansion

Fugro has completed a geotechnical site characterisation project for DRA Global as part of the proposed expansion of the port of Richards Bay in South Africa. DRA Global contracted Fugro to acquire critical seabed Geo-data required for the completion of preliminary engineering and design works. The project began with a cross-continental mobilisation of marine assets from Bangladesh and UAE to Richards Bay and was safely delivered despite challenging ground conditions and ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

The very soft soils encountered at depths of more than 40 m below seafloor required an innovative solution for positioning the two geotechnical drill rigs safely, so Fugro mobilised two bespoke modular self-elevating platforms (SEPs) to acquire high-quality Geo-data in a wide range of water depths. Their experienced staff, combined with adaptable marine assets and tooling, enabled Fugro to deliver DRA Global’s requirements in full and avoid any data gaps that could have led to an overengineered design and ultimately higher construction costs.

Cobus Rossouw, Principal Marine Engineer at DRA Global, said: “Fugro performed well under difficult circumstances, including challenging site conditions and intense focus on environmental management in sensitive areas, all while working in an operational port. Their robust safety management systems resulted in an investigation completed without a single lost time incident (LTI).”

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