Port of call: North German port of Bremerhaven undergoes a €500M expansion



Foundation World, European Federation of Foundation Contractors, Beckenham, Kent, UK


The project

Visit Bremerhaven in northern Germany and you will see Europe’s largest harbour job site. The transportation of containers via Bremerhaven is experiencing a boom like just about no other industry in Germany, with annual growth rates sometimes hitting double figures. In just 27 years the Weser estuary has become Europe’s fourth most important container terminal, and a leading player on the international stage.

To maintain this position in the future, owner Land Bremen has extended its container terminal from 3,200 square metres to 4,872, at a cost of some 500 million euros. In doing so, it created space for four additional state-of-the-art container vessels.

The contract for this massive project was secured by CT 4 joint venture, a consortium of Hochtief Construction, Bilfinger & Berger, Strabag and Gustav W Rogge. The JV is responsible for installing 37,000 tonnes of steel sheet piles, 10,000 tonnes of reinforcement steel and 60,000 cubic metres of concrete, as well as infilling 10 million cubic metres of sand. Liebherr construction machinery is the key to its success.

The installation of a riverside sheet pile wall in the tidal Weser, using Liebherr crawler cranes plus those with specialised deep foundation equipment, represents the most important and, at the same time, the most complicated phase of this project.  To construct the sheet pile wall the joint venture used two heavy jack-up platforms, the Odin and the Annegret. These ensured exact alignment of the driving devices and components. The Odin platform was specially built for the CT 4 project. Hochtief used a LR 1280 Liebherr lift crane (280 t lifting capacity) equipped with a 51m-long fixed lead, type LRH 600, and a Dieseko vibrator, type PVE 110 M with 225t centrifugal force, to install piles from the Odin platform.

The Dieseko power pack, type PVE 1000, required for vibrator operation offers 784 kilo-watt power and is compactly mounted on the Liebherr lift crane. This compact and efficient piling package was custom-designed by Liebherr-Werk Nenzing. The contractor is driving 743 double sheet piles – type Peiner PSP 1000 to 1016 – up to 42.5m into the ground. It installed a total of 17,500 tonnes of piles, each of which weighs around 25 tonnes.

Second phase

In a second phase, 743 batter piles will be inserted to absorb the horizontal forces acting on the sheet pile wall. This work is being executed from the Annegret platform by Bilfinger & Berger using a Liebherr hydraulic crawler crane, type HS 895 HD, equipped with a 55m-long swinging lead and a IHC hydraulic hammer, type S70. The Peiner PS t 600 piles are 45m long and weigh 7.2 tonnes, adding up to a staggering 5,300 tonnes of piles.

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