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Contents • Foreword • Khalifa Port’s strategic location • The new gateway port to Abu Dhabi • Facts and figures • Environmental breakwater • Offshore port island • The port’s causeways • Emirates Aluminium platform, causeway and cooling water intake • Highways and bridges • Dredging and reclamation • Khalifa Port and Marine Consortium • Halcrow

Foreword And along the way, Halcrow helped ADPC receive its

as consultants on the Shahama port project just

first international award. In 2008, ADPC was given a

outside Abu Dhabi, where they will help ADPC build

Diamond Award by the American Council of Engineering

a bustling marina.

Companies (ACEC), its highest honour, at the ACEC 2008 Engineering Excellence Awards gala in New York.

We hope that Halcrow employees who visit Khalifa Port

Halcrow won the Diamond Award for its excellence in the

in the future will feel that it is just as much a part of their

category of studies, research and consulting engineering

work as that of ADPC.

services in relation to the Khalifa Port Master Planning


am proud to say that Khalifa Port fully

project. The award was given to ADPC for creating

opened on 1 September 2012 with the

“a major new port with minimal environmental impact”.

official completion of Phase One of the project.

Tony Douglas As anyone can see, Halcrow has played a big part in the

I would like to thank our colleagues and stakeholders

success story of ADPC, part of the visionary team that

who have helped us reach our milestone opening. One

looked far into the future to help us build Khalifa Port.

of our long-serving consultants is Halcrow, who have

Chief executive officer

Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) ADPC is a leader in the development of world-class

been with the Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) since

We have now come full circle with the opening of

ports and industrial zones. Established in the Emirate

those far off days in 2005, when some of the first

the port and we would like to offer sincere thanks

of Abu Dhabi in 2006, its mission is to create the right

detailed sketches for the port were made.

to the experts at Halcrow who helped us, and our

environment to spur the economic expansion and

many multi-national teams, form strong alliances to

diversification of Abu Dhabi. ADPC operates and

Halcrow undertook an initial master plan and delivered

build the Khalifa Port and Khalifa Industrial Zone

develops commercial ports in Abu Dhabi and is the

the full master plan in 2007, paying particular attention

Abu Dhabi megaproject.

Emirate’s port authority.

to protecting the Ras Ghanada coral reef, lying adjacent

to the port. The dredging team, the Khalifa Port Marine

We are glad to say that Halcrow continues to work

Consortium, then asked Halcrow to undertake the

with ADPC, creating this year the port’s operational

detailed design.

environmental management plan, and continuing

Khalifa Port’s strategic location S

erving the Emirate and beyond, Abu Dhabi’s

access to global markets. Companies based in

Khalifa Port has been strategically located to

Abu Dhabi have access to nearly three billion

meet the growing demands of global trade.

consumers within four time zones, and with a well-connected transport system, the quick

As a dedicated enabler for the adjacent Khalifa Industrial

and efficient movement of passengers and

Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), the port offers unrivalled

goods to and from Abu Dhabi is assured







Ras Ghanada Reef

Khalifa Port

Al Maktoum International Airport


New York







Abu Dhabi

Lagos Guayaquil

Abu Dhabi International Airport



Abu Dhabi


Antofagusta Valparaiso

With a population of around two million, *

* source: Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi

Buenos Aires

Cape Town


Hong Kong Bangkok

Singapore Jakarta




Brisbane Sydney Hobart Dunedin

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the largest of the seven emirates

Rio de Janeiro



Khalifa Port Karachi

Aden Colombo

Salvador Al Ain




Los Angeles

St Petersburg Hamburg





Reykjavik Bergen

Major port


The new gateway port to Abu Dhabi K

halifa Port is the jewel in ADPC’s crown.

With a semi-automated container and general

Hailed as a magnificent engineering achievement

cargo facility handling bulk liquids, dry bulk, roll-

and beacon of technical excellence, Khalifa Port’s

on and roll-off cargo, Port Khalifa is one of the

engineering statistics are truly impressive. As Abu

most modern facilities of its kind in the region

Dhabi’s largest-ever construction project, the ongoing building of the port is a major undertaking. The sheer





size of it is staggering - its scale, state-of-the-art

9 5 10


3 2




facilities and handling capacity have secured its place


amongst the world’s advanced marine ports.

Port causeway (north)


Port causeway (South)


Highway and utility bridges

Built over 4.5km offshore to protect the adjacent Ras


Offshore port island

Ghanada coral reef, the port is being developed in five


Port basin

planned stages over 20 years. Phase One, completed in


Ras Ghanada reef

September 2012, will see an initial capacity of 2.5 million


Wave attenuation breakwater

TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of container traffic


Environmental breakwater

and 12 million tons of general cargo annually. By 2030, as


Emirates Aluminium platform

subsequent phases come on-stream, it is expected that it


Emirates Aluminium causeway and water intake


Kizad Zone A


Kizad Zone B

will be able to handle 15 million TEUs and 35 million tons of general cargo per year.

Facts and figures



2/3 the size of


4 times bigger than

Abu Dhabi island


Greater London

Environmental breakwater Khalifa Port was


oasting the only cactus coral along Abu Dhabi’s mainland coast, Ras Ghanada coral reef is known for its biodiversity

built offshore

and reef development. Teeming with life and with a plethora of

for one reason

yellow and orange corals of all shapes and sizes sprout from the

alone: to protect the 20km


Ras Ghanada coral reef

colours, the reef is integral to the Gulf’s marine ecosystem. Pink, sea floor, providing shelter to the many species sharing this unique environment. Port Khalifa’s 8km-long environmental breakwater protects this vitally important underwater world. Built at a cost of US$240 million, the breakwater rises 4m above water. It has two main sections – an inner breakwater to protect the sensitive coral reef from contamination, turbidity and unwanted temperature fluctuation caused by port operations; and an outer breakwater to reduce the wave action within the port area. The reef’s foundation is core material, covered with a strong synthetic geotextile like heavy canvas, covered in turn by rock originating from Ras Al Khaimah that has been cleaned to prevent contamination. The outer section has an extra layer of acropod blocks – man-made unreinforced concrete structures designed to resist the action of waves

Built at a cost of US$240 million, the breakwater rises 4m above water

ABOVE: Revetment showing rock and acropod blocks. MAIN LEFT: Wave attenuation and environmental breakwaters. TOP and LEFT: The Arabian angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur) can be found in the Gulf. Its habitat includes sheltered coastal reefs with hard and soft corals, rocky reefs, crevices and the mouths of caves. It is timid, which makes it difficult to observe.

Offshore Port island L

ocated 4.2km offshore, Khalifa Port has been constructed on a 2.7km2 reclaimed port island.

With a platform, causeways and revetments formed from 45 million m3 of dredged materials, and designed to meet stringent seismic criteria, the port island is large enough to host some 340 football pitches. It is joined to the shore by the north and south causeways and the 1km-long road and utility bridge. Rising some 24m from their foundations on the sea bed, the quay walls are equivalent in height to six double-decker buses. Formed from 12 blocks, with a maximum weight of 71 metric tonnes each, around 4m of quay wall is visible above the water line. With ABOVE: Placing of quay blocks.

stringent specifications for block placing tolerances of +/- 20mm, the wall’s foundations vary in depth to accommodate a range of geotechnical conditions. The port’s container yard features six ship-to-shore quay cranes, 30 automated stacking cranes and 20 shuttle carriers. The onshore port area, which connects the port with Kizad, will host customs, immigration, container freight, inspection and security facilities

Rising some 24m from their foundations on the sea bed, the quay walls are equivalent in height to six double-decker buses

ABOVE: Cross section of quay wall. RIGHT: Quay wall and automatic stacking cranes.

The port causeways The seaward part

Formed as a solid bund for most of its length, the

of the causeway

that the water quality within the port basin is

causeway’s bridges allow water to circulate – ensuring

leading to the port

maintained through a process of natural water

island is armoured

quality around Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity

movement and flushing. It also ensures that water Authority’s intake to the south of the port, and the Ras

with rock, with

Ghanada coral reef to the north is maintained. There are areas of sea grass behind the port, and the open

marine dredged

bridge sections allow the flow of the tide to maintain

material as its core

water quality over the grass beds


The offshore port island is joined to the mainland

LEFT: The port causeway’s highway and utilities bridges.

by the 3.2km north and south causeways and the

RIGHT: Main causeway showing EMAL bridge and berth

1km-long road and utility bridges. The southern causeway at the landward side is armoured with rock on both side and filled with land-sourced material. The seaward part of the causeway leading to the port island is armoured with rock, with marine dredged material as its core.

on far right.

Emirates Aluminium’s platform, causeway and cooling water intake E

mirates Aluminium’s (EMAL) complex is a state-

The 810m quay wall is formed from sections comprising 15 blocks,

of-the-art smelter supplying the world with high-

each weighing around 73 metric tonnes. These are topped with

quality metal. It’s one of the largest industrial projects in

bridge showing conveyor gallery.

pre-cast capping blocks, each weighing 108 metric tonnes.

the UAE outside the oil and gas sector and one of the key initiatives leading the diversification of the

A vacuum ship unloader transfers coke and alumina (the

UAE’s economy.

primary raw materials for aluminium production) onto a wharf belt conveyor system. Once on the conveyor, the material is

EMAL’s dedicated berth became operational in November

transported 4.6km along the trestle bridge and causeway running

2010 and receives four million tons of raw material cargo

from the wharf to the shore, before being delivered directly to

a year. The facility plays a key role in meeting the global

EMAL’s storage facility.

demand for aluminium. The causeway’s core was formed from land-based fill to a 4m Based in Kizad at Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi, EMAL’s plant

contour, with dredged materials used for the remainder. Rock

is the largest single site greenfield smelter in the world. It

and concrete armours have been used to protect the core

produces 750,000 tonnes of aluminium annually, with an

materials from erosion.

expected increase to 1.3 metric million tonnes by the end of 2014 as a result of continued investment.

RIGHT: Typical section of EMAL’s trestle

EMAL’s 1.6km trestle bridge is the UAE’s longest bridge, whilst the seawater cooling facility for the aluminium smelter, which

EMAL’s dedicated berth is 3.5km offshore. With space for

runs through a dredged channel, includes 13km of 2.6m

two 60,000 ton ships, it rises 23.7m from the sea bed.

diameter pipe – wide enough to drive a large SUV through

TOP RIGHT: EMAL berth during platform construction. BOTTOM RIGHT: EMAL’s berth and conveyor system.

EMAL’s plant is the largest single site greenfield smelter in the world

Highways and bridges P

ort Khalifa’s highways and bridges connect the

Each structure is built to last for 100 years and was designed to

main operational areas with the mainland.

withstand full exposure to adverse sea conditions, whilst requiring the minimum amount of maintenance. To comply with local

The port’s three bridges were built with minimum casting

environmental regulations each crossing is designed to maintain

in situ within a relatively short construction contract. With

tidal flows around the causeways

no access through land all manpower and materials were transported by sea.

Highway and utility bridges

The 28.9m wide highway bridge carries three lanes of

Width (highway): 28.9m

Width: 19.5m

Width (utility): 27.5m

Number of piers: 84

Number of piers: 156

Weight of piers: 110 tonnes

Weight of piers: 115 tonnes

Number of pier caps: 42

maintenance vehicles.

Number of pier caps: 104

Weight of pier caps: 125 tonnes

Weight of pier caps: 115 tonnes

Number of girders: 205

EMAL’s 1.64km-long, 19.5m-wide trestle bridge connects

Number of girders: 700

Weight of girders: 90 tonnes each

Weight of girders: 90 tonnes each

Diaphragm walls

ABOVE: Port causeway’s highway

Diaphragm walls

Deck slab and parapets

and utility bridges.

vehicular traffic as well as a 2m walkway in each direction, while the adjacent 27.5m wide utility bridge carries pipelines and services. A dedicated traffic lane provides access for

the company’s offshore terminal to a causeway leading to its onshore facilities. It has a 10m wide road as well as a heavy-duty bulk conveyor gallery.

Length: 1km

Deck slab and parapets

EMAL trestle bridge Length: 1.64km

Each structure is built to last for 100 years and is designed to withstand full exposure to adverse sea conditions

Dredging and reclamation I

n October 2007, ADPC awarded the Khalifa Port

levels and weather conditions. Specialists using a dedicated

Marine Consortium (KPMC), a team comprising

monitoring vessel worked to ensure that water quality

Boskalis, Archirodon and Hyundai Engineering and

was maintained and undertook regular dive inspections

Construction, a contract to undertake the multi-

of the coral reef.

faceted design, procurement and construction of the construction of the port.

Computer modelling was used to predict the turbidity and suspended sediment concentrations around the

The commission included dredging for a 12km access

work areas. This information was used to minimise the

channel, 250m wide with a 16.5m draft; the 800m by

environmental impact of the dredging operations.

3.6km port basin with a 16m draft; land reclamation; rock protection works; breakwaters and quay wall construction.

Surveys conducted throughout the project indicated the

In all, some 45 million m of material was dredged. The port

impact of construction on the sea grass and the coral

platform was delivered on 31 July 31 2010, 18 months

reef was minimal.


ahead of the contracted schedule.

To protect the precious Ras Ghanada coral reef, the project team employed an extensive monitoring programme

ADPC has won many international awards for the In order to minimise the impact of the construction works on

Environmental Breakwater. In 2011, it received the

water quality and to protect the precious Ras Ghanada coral

Environmental Protection Award at the prestigious

reef, the project team employed an extensive monitoring

International Bulk Journal Awards held in Belgium.

programme. Fifteen fixed monitoring stations were used to

The award recognises ADPC’s commitment to protect

provide real-time data on turbidity, waves, currents, water

the Ras Ghanada coral reef

Port basin and reclamation area enclosed by breakwater and revetments

The Khalifa Port Marine Consortium I

n 2007, the Khalifa Port Marine Consortium (KPMC), a team comprising Archirodon

Construction (Overseas) Co SA, Boskalis

Archirodon is one of the leading international contracting

Boskalis is a leading global services provider operating

Westminster Middle East Ltd and Hyundai

groups. With a 50-year record of worldwide diversified

in the dredging and earthmoving, maritime infrastructure

Engineering and Construction as awarded the

experience offering a full range of services in engineering

and maritime services sectors. The company provides

contract to undertake the multi-disciplinary design,

and construction of major civil, industrial and marine

creative and innovative solutions to infrastructure

procurement and construction works for marine

projects and has a special focus in the Middle East and

challenges in the maritime, coastal and delta regions of

structures, dredging and reclamation of the first

North Africa.

the world including the construction and maintenance of

phase of Khalifa Port.

The commission included the reclamation for the

and riverbank protection.

port platform and its protection by rock revetments, breakwaters, causeways and bridges to provide access to the port platform, dredging of the access channel and port basin, quay wall construction and

Hyundai Engineering and Construction is one of the

EMAL’s offshore facilities.

world’s leading global engineering and construction companies, seizing the initiative in the field of next-

Through innovative design concepts and leadership,

generation green growth.

KPMC has completed the works 18 months ahead

of schedule.

ports and waterways, land reclamation, coastal defence


Khalifa Port’s principal consultant In 2005, Halcrow was commissioned by the ADPC, to undertake a pre-master plan for the development of a new port. A year later, the company was asked to undertake the detailed studies needed to develop a master plan. Including a marine infrastructure impact assessment report, site investigations and an environmental impact assessment, the master plan for Khalifa Port was delivered to the client in July 2007.


alcrow delivers planning, design and management services for developing

infrastructure and buildings worldwide. It contributes to the construction, operation and maintenance of the built environment, and the protection, enhancement and maintenance of

Halcrow is part of US-based CH2M HILL, the employeeowned consulting, design, design-build, operations, and program management firm. Combining world-class experience with local presence, CH2M HILL and Halcrow are more than the sum of their parts. Their combined capability provides more

The company takes on the big issues that affect us

infrastructure development around the globe.

to live and work.

opportunities to make a positive contribution to

contractor, the Khalifa Port Marine Consortium to perform the detailed design to Phase One,

the natural environment.

all – water, transportation, energy, and creating places

In the same year, Halcrow was retained by the

consisting of the marine structures, bridges, reclamation and dredging. Halcrow continued to support the project after its main commission was completed in 2010, and in 2012 was responsible for the port’s operational

environmental management plan

Construction of the offshore and onshore port

Khalifa Port brochure  
Khalifa Port brochure  

Brochure for first completed phase of the Halcrow project.