May 10, 2023

Webuild prepares seabed for Genoa Breakwater

Installation of 70,000 piles to support structure

  • Technicians and other workers ready for first stage of preparing seabed since laying of first stone 
  • Ships shuttle between Piombino and Genoa, bringing gravel to support structure of breakwater


GENOA, May 10, 2023 – Technicians and other specialised workers have begun preparations for the construction of a new breakwater for Genoa following the May 4 ceremony to lay the first stone of the biggest development project of an Italian port. Commissioned by the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority, the project is being led by Webuild in the PERGENOVA BREAKWATER consortium with partners Fincantieri Infrastructure Opere Maritime, Fincosit and Sidra.

The first phase of construction this month involves the pouring of up to 2,000 tonnes of gravel a day along a part of the seabed where the breakwater is to be built. A ship with a capacity of 3,600 tonnes will shuttle between the ports of Piombino and Genoa every 36 hours, while a smaller vessel of 400 tonnes will conduct two trips a day. The pouring of gravel is to be conducted in two trial areas during the next two months: “Campo Prova 1” in May and “Campo Prova 2” in June. The pouring will then proceed uninterrupted until September 2024 also with the deployment of ships of 40,000 tonnes.

During the final two weeks of May, work will also begin on the installation of 70,000 piles along the seabed. It will involve four pontoons – floating platforms each measuring 600 square metres. Each one will have two cranes. The installation of the piles will take 17 months to complete.   

The breakwater, a unique project in engineering terms, will be 6,200 metres long. Its foundation, which will be on a seabed up to 50 metres deep, will require up to seven million tonnes of stones and rock to complete. On the foundation will rest a hundred prefabricated caissons of reinforced concrete each 35 metres wide, 67 metres long and up to 33 metres tall – as much as a 10-storey building. An estimated 1,000 people are to work on the project directly and indirectly.

Webuild prepares seabed for Genoa Breakwater

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