“Largest ever” underwater blasting campaign prepares Singapore’s new port

The blasting company originally founded by dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel has carried out what it claims is the largest ever underwater blasting exercise to prepare for a major new port in Singapore.

Madrid-headquartered conglomerate Maxam designed and executed more than 100 subsea blasts using nearly 1,000 tons of its water gel explosive Rioflex to break hard rock in order to deepen the channel for a major expansion of Singapore Port.

  • See the controlled explosions here:

It was hired by the joint venture of Dredging International Asia Pacific (DIAP) and Daelim, with the support of Asia Tunneling & Construction Pte.

The project involves reclaiming 294 hectares from the sea to build an almost nine-kilometre-long quay with a capacity of close to 20 million TEU per year.

Maxam supplied the explosives from factory it built in Malaysia.

"This project is … yet another step in our growth in Asia, where we are already operating in countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Malaysia and the Philippines, among others," said Ramón Paramio, Maxam Terra Solutions General Manager.

Maxam said it uses an oxide matrix that is sensitised once inside the borehole, becoming explosive.

In breaking up the rock for dredgers, Maxam had to stay within vibration limits to protect nearby structures.

With revenue last year of €1.1bn, Maxam traces its origins to the Sociedad Española de la Pólvora Dinamita, set up by Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel in 1872.

Image: Maxam staff preparing for the explosions (Maxam)

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