The port of Klaipeda is consistently the number one cargo port in the Baltics. In partnership with LNK Industries, the Lithuanian port completed one of its most significant development projects at the southern pier – constructing a retaining wall. It is the first retaining wall of its kind built in Lithuania, in the port of Klaipeda. As a result of the reconstruction of the port, not only will it be possible to deepen it but also widen the channel and expand the infrastructure.
At first, the pier reconstruction, worth 49 million euro, was entrusted to the German company Depenbrock and the Belgian company Herbosch-Kiere. Still, LNK Industries was hired for a 9.4 million euro underwater wall installation project.
Despite numerous challenges, LNK Industries successfully started constructing the port’s underwater wall. In addition to purchasing high-tech equipment, the company hired Finnish drilling rig operators, work managers, and engineers for the project to ensure a high-quality execution.
Underwater, the wall’s upper edge stretches up to 11 metres, while its lower edge reaches 28 metres. The wall measures 200 meters in length. It is made from steel pipes drilled into the breakwater’s structure. A breakwater is a barrier constructed from rocks, boulders, and tetrapods.
Construction was conducted using floating structures and platforms in the narrowest part of the port, near the gate, where ship traffic is heavy. For pipe drilling, SIA “Technorent” rebuilt and equipped the BG36 pile drilling rig with special equipment and tools from Finland. Steel pipes D813 in lengths ranging from 14.3 m to 31 m were connected together to form a bottom-tight structure of the underwater wall. SIA “Technorent” used a DTH drilling technique to drill through granite, massif blocks and tetrapods without dismantling the existing pier structure. Nowadays, this technique is widely used for drilling large piles in granite.
The weather and geological conditions affected work processes at the port of Klaipeda, as did navigational difficulties. Therefore, the teams worked around the clock to meet the tight deadlines.