China Harbour and Boskalis split massive land reclamation contract in Manila Bay

China Harbour Engineering and Dutch dredging company Royal Boskalis Westminster have won a €650m reclamation contract in Manila Bay.

The project will create three artificial islands for Philippine developer SM Prime Holdings, which plans to use them for shopping centres and homes. The two companies will each take €325m of the contract price.

Peter Berdowski, Boskalis’ chief executive, commented: "We look forward to contributing to a modest incremental growth of the Philippines and to protect part of Manila against the effects of climate change. This has always been an important region for Boskalis and through this project, we have secured utilization for the large dredging vessels for the coming years."

Work on the project will begin in the first quarter of next year and is expected to be complete in 2023. Boskalis intends to  carry it out using trailing suction hopper dredgers, including its "mega hopper" dredgers.

The islands will come complete with rock revetments for flood and typhoon defence, as well as 60,000km of vertical drains to speed soil settlement. The entire reclamation area will also be mechanically tamped to ensure soil stability. The outer perimeter of the islands will be protected with a combination of rock revetment and a concrete wave wall.

SM Prime, the Philippines’ largest developer, has two other Manila Bay reclamation proposals pending approval: a 300ha project in Paranaque City and a 335-ha project in Pasay. China Harbour Engineering is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company.

Image: Manila Bay (Serendipity/CC BY 3.0)

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