A team of specialists from UK-based contractor O’Keefe has completed ground improvement operations for the €350 million Ardersier Port redevelopment project, near Inverness in Scotland.
The project is being led by the site owner Haventus and aims to transform the 182 hectare port into an energy transition facility catering to offshore wind farms and other energy initiatives.
Formerly a prominent North Sea oil and gas fabrication yard, Ardersier Port ceased operations in 2001.
O’Keefe created a new 1.5km-long haul road that will facilitate the upcoming construction project.
The stabilisation process involved the incorporation of approximately 1,500 tonnes of cement into sandy soil, followed by the application of a 150mm layer of crushed concrete.
O’Keefe said the technique was required to transform the unstable cohesive soil into a more resilient granular texture capable of supporting both dynamic and static loads.
Brian Doogue, soil contracts manager at O’Keefe, said, “Cement stabilisation enables us to utilise on-site materials instead of importing costly aggregates. This approach is not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly.
He added, “We meticulously constructed the haul road according to precise specifications, incorporating a central camber to facilitate water drainage.
“The road comprises a 300mm layer of cement-stabilised soil topped with a 150mm layer of crushed concrete, resulting in a total depth of 450mm.”
The soil improvement work started in late May and was completed in mid-July. In addition to a Wirtgen WR250 soil stabiliser, the project involved the deployment of an articulated dump truck for material transportation and a Caterpillar D6 bulldozer equipped with GPS machine control for precise road profiling and levelling. The final surface was compacted using a 16-tonne single-drum vibrating roller.
At full utilisation, the Ardersier Port project is expected to generate up to 3,000 jobs and support the rollout of over 33GW of renewable energy.