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ForSHORE: Expansion of the port of Colonia in Uruguay

As part of the project to expand the port of Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay, Soletanche Bachy Uruguay is participating in the design and construction of the ‘extension of the “Ultramar quay”. This new reference adds to Soletanche Bachy’s maritime and port expertise, gathered under the ForSHORE brand.

On behalf of the Administración Nacional de Puertos, Soletanche Bachy Uruguay has successfully implemented design and construction, 2 of the 4 pillars of the brand, for the extension of the port of Colonia. The project involves extending of the terminal’s Ultramar quay, for an additional  operational area of 737m2. This port is the most important in the country and in the region in terms of passengers  (more than 2,500,000 in 2023), and concentrates most of the traffic between Argentina and Uruguay – Buenos Aires being 50km in a straight line from Colonia.

The teams at Soletanche Bachy Uruguay have completed a series of works between 2023 and 2024 in a joint venture with SACEEM.

A project with high organizational and technical demands

The piles of this construction site were built  between August 2023 and February 2024, without interrupting   traffic. It should be noted that the months of December and January correspond to the austral summer, and during this period traffic can reach berths every 15 minutes during the day, which has led to crews working day and night. The contract also included underwater underpinning work, which was carried out by specially trained divers.

The teams encountered a high ground resistance of the basal rock, located under a thickness of around 2 m (sometimes non-existent) of very loose soil, as well as restrictions linked to the strong winds and water level variations of the Río de la Plata, which required innovative working procedures in the region.

Soletanche Bachy Uruguay and SACEEM proposed to build the quay with two lines of 80cm piles, embedded 2m into the gneissic rock, with two 150cm piles in the corner bevel. In total, 25 piles were installed. The first line of piles was driven from the existing deck, while the second line was driven from a floating platform on which the pile-drilling machine (weighing 70t ) was placed, using a 250t crane

This large-scale project will enable Soletanche Bachy Uruguay to nurture ForSHORE, our marine structures brand, and further strengthen our port expertise. Congratulations to the teams for their participation in this project!

ForSHORE operates as a General Contractor to deliver all four stages in the development of port infrastructure projects: financing, design, build, and asset management.


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