Located on the northeast coast of Sumatra, Belawan is Indonesia's busiest seaport outside the island of Java. The seaport was initially built in 1890 to provide a location where tobacco could be transferred directly from inland rail to deep-draft ships. Nowadays, major export products include rubber, palm oil, tea and coffee.
To secure and strengthen its economic leading position and to boost social development in the area, the capacity of the current container terminal had to be increased. Van Oord was contracted for the reclamation of 20 hectares of land.
The first challenge appeared early in the project preparation phase. Although the client had provided a quite large borrow area, the sand was not readily available at every location. A layer of clay covered the sand needed for the reclamation. An additional survey identified the best locations for trailing suction hopper dredger HAM 310 to dredge, depending on sand characteristics and measured clay layer thickness.
After finding the right sand, the project still demanded intense day-to-day management to get the most out of the dredging works. Looking for the best compromise between dredging cycles, sand characteristics and site requirements. Because of the soft underground, the new land was reclaimed in several phases by deploying a spray pontoon.
The reclaimed land now provides a solid foundation for the new terminal, ultimately reinforcing the position of Belawan Port. The port is being envisioned to become one of the country’s main logistic gateways.