As part of a joint venture, SNC-Lavalin provided full engineering, procurement and construction management services for the marine facilities of the Cerrejón P40 Phase I mine expansion project in Colombia, one of the largest open pit coal mines in the world.
The primary component of the project is a second deep sea export berth for Capesize vessels. In addition to that, the existing approach and navigation channel was widened and deepened to facilitate the operation of two berths simultaneously. The dredging operations included removal of approximately 3,000,000 cubic meters of sands and a nominal amount of native caprock.
The project included a challenging construction environment with daily high winds, which necessitated a lot of pre-assembly work. Winds also affected quality control of onsite welding, leading to higher levels of scrutiny during inspections.
Partnering for success
Building on our experience in working in challenging environments, SNC-Lavalin defined climatic design parameters in the area including wave and hurricane conditions, and identified the potential effects of climate change on these elements. In addition to developing a strong relationship with our client, Carbones de Cerrejón, our experts worked closely with them during the design phase to incorporate sea level rise and climate change effects anticipated through the life of the facility. We also addressed turbidity and sediment transport during construction, thus limiting negative environmental impacts.
Cerrejón has been in existence for approximately 25 years and contributes to over 40% of Colombia’s coal exports. The P40 Phase I Expansion Project is the first phase of an expansion that will see coal production and export increase from about 25 to 30 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 60 mtpa, thus doubling the capacity of the mine and port.