Vale Iron Ore Jetty
Lumut, Malaysia

Project: Vale Iron Ore Jetty
Lumut, Malaysia
Main Contractor: BAM International / Mc Connell Dowell / SYS JV
Client: Vale SA
Contract period: Aug 2011 – Feb 2014

Scope of work:
EPC – Piling & Precast Works

Contract sum: EUR 160 million

Six weeks prior to the contractual completion date, BAM – in joint venture with its Australian partner McConnell Dowell and Malaysian partner SYS – completed the major import wharf.

The Brazilian client, mining corporation Vale, is now able to install its ship unloaders and conveyor structures, ready to receive the first vessels carrying iron ore from their mines. Once on shore, the iron ore will be processed and distributed further into Asia. The jetty is able to receive Valemax, the largest class bulk vessel in the world today.

Big numbers

A total of 901 piles, with varying diameters between one and almost two metres were driven. Two prefab yards were busy producing the 6,768 prefab elements – a total of 75,000 cubic metres of concrete. All elements weighing more than 45 tonnes were produced on a site in Lumut. The heaviest weighed some 120 tonnes. The lighter elements were brought in from the capital Kuala Lumpur. At peak, daily production reached 475 cubic metres of concrete and an output of 52 elements.

Iron ore transhipment

The client, mining corporation Vale, choose Lumut on Malaysia’s west coast as its transshipment location for iron ore. The raw material is brought in from Brazil in gigantic 400,000 DWT bulk carriers some 360 metres in length. Conveyor belts transport the ore to shore, from where it is distributed to smaller ships for further transport to various countries in the region.

Working round the clock

Two major milestones were the pillars under this contract. First, the cranes to offload the bulk carriers needed to be placed on the import jetty. And secondly, the handover of the complete project. To make them both happen all the necessary measures were taken, such as pouring concrete at night – with an added safety advantage: the sheer number of floating equipment might otherwise create a risk of disciplines getting in each other’s way.

Soil conditions

Soft soil conditions asked for record length piles of up to 120 metres. Unforeseen soil conditions have led to a recalculation of pile lengths, but with the engagement of addition resources

the scheduled completion date was still achieved. The soil turned out to be relatively soft, making it necessary to drive piles 70 metres into the seabed. The piles are therefore at least 80 metres in

length, with the longest measuring a full 120 metres. The longest single section pile pitched was 100 metres long, weighing approximately 98 tonnes. This is likely to be have been the longest single-length tubular foundation pile ever to have been driven from a floating crane barge worldwide.