Echoscope for Moroccan breakwater project

23 Feb 2017

Safi Breakwater Construction Site

Safi breakwater construction site

Coda Octopus, the UK-headquartered survey instrument specialist has recently reported the sale of multiple sets of its Echoscope units to the SGTM-STFA joint venture for its breakwater construction projects.

SGTM-STFA are currently developing a new breakwater and port
in the Moroccan town of Safi on North Africa’s West Coast. The breakwater project
involves the construction of a 3km breakwater using both single layer Accropode
IIs and dual layer 10 cubic metre and 22 cubic metre Antifer blocks.

DEMANDING CONDITIONS
The breakwater is situated in an exposed coastal area which frequently sees the
effects of major Atlantic storms resulting in large currents and waves in the
region. This naturally hostile environment, with large waves and low subsea
visibility precludes the use of divers or cameras to visualise underwater and
places even greater emphasis on the interlocking and correct positioning
between each block as it is laid.

SGTM-SFTA originally trialled the Echoscope in June 2016.
The Echoscope was mounted to a solid frame attached to a crawler crane and was
used to visualise the Antifer blocks in real-time and in 3D as they are placed.
Combined with a unique block-release system designed by SGTM-STFA, the use of
the Echoscope achieved instant productivity and accuracy gains with the set-up.
The project team were able to safely work 24 hour shifts, at all sea conditions
where working of the cranes and personnel allowed, to achieve a maximum
installation rate of 90+ Antifer blocks in a 24 hour period. The real-time 3D
visualisation provided by the Echoscope enabled the crane operator to ‘see’ the
block under the water, enabling accurate and fast placement of the block.

MULTIPLE SYSTEMS
Following the initial trial in June 2016, the project team were immediately
convinced of the benefits the Echoscope could offer for this challenging
project and quickly moved to install multiple systems on their cranes to
support the project. Each system has ensured productivity and accuracy gains
can be repeated across the project site. SGTM-STFA now plan to use the
Echoscope on their next breakwater construction project in Nador.

Mert Cirak, Technical Director from SGTM-STFA said: “The
Echoscope has proved to be of significant value to the project, and has
justified the investment cost many times over, enabling day and night operation
in any kind of underwater visibility and sea conditions. The very high
installation efficiencies were reached with a single crane and Echoscope, in
the past this would have required three different installation teams to achieve
the same number of blocks laid in 24 hours. The Coda Octopus Support Team has
been exceptional and has given us a lot of confidence in the technology”.

Blair Cunningham, Coda Octopus President of Technology added:
“This project reinforces the Echoscope Solution as the preferred solution for
breakwater construction. The ability to see and track the blocks into position
and monitor their position post placement is at the heart of the increased
productivity gains. Moreover, the Echoscope Solution can be used at both the
pre-lay design to post-lay survey and inspection. We are happy that our
customers involved in these challenging task can access our revolutionary
technology for their projects”.

By Jake Frith

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