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June 09, 2023

Webuild: work on New Genoa Breakwater proceeds at full speed

100,000 tonnes of gravel poured on seabed in first month, as scheduled

Work set to start on 70,000 gravel-filled piles to support base

Project involves about 70 companies to date


GENOA, June 9, 2023 – Workers on the new breakwater for Genoa have, as programmed, already poured approximately 100,000 tonnes of gravel on the seabed to prepare the base of the structure. They are working at full speed, using two vessels that are transporting to the site a total of 3,000 tonnes of gravel a day. The larger of the two vessels completes a delivery every 36 hours from Piombino, where the gravel is loaded. The smaller vessel does one from Genoa in six hours. So far, they have done 70 trips.

Commissioned by the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority, the project is being developed by the PERGENOVA BREAKWATER consortium led by Webuild with partners Fincantieri Infrastructure Opere Marittime, Fincosit and Sidra. The project, which is receiving funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (known in Italian as the PNRR), will create an estimated 1,000 jobs, both direct and indirect. It has already come to involve approximately 70 companies.

The pouring of the gravel on the seabed, begun on May 4 following a ceremony to mark the start of the project, will continue until September 2024. In the coming weeks, work to stabilise the seabed will commence, with the setting of 70,000 piles measuring between seven and 12 metres in length. Filled with gravel, the piles will provide stability for the base of the breakwater. Their installation 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 base to be built on top of these piles will then rest on the seabed up to 50 metres deep. It will require up to seven million tonnes of stones and rock to complete, with material coming from the dismantling of the existing breakwater in respect of the principles of a circular economy. On the base will rest a hundred prefabricated caissons of reinforced concrete, each 35 metres wide, 67 metres long and up to 33 metres tall – as tall as a 10-storey building. The making of the caissons will start in September. 

The breakwater, the biggest project of its kind to be developed for the improvement of an Italian port, will act as a barrier to protect the port from large waves and other turbulence caused by stormy weather. A unique project in engineering terms, it will be 6,200 metres long. It will replace the existing structure, but its positioning will be further out to sea to allow access to the port by ultra large cargo ships that need more space in which to manoeuvre.


09/06/2023 - 10:01

Webuild: work on New Genoa Breakwater proceeds at full speed

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