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Casting basin, Costa Azul, Baja California, Mexico

Photo: Ben C Gerwick / COWI
Aerial view of casting basin site.
A joint venture between Costain and China Harbour has been retained by Sempra LNG's Energia Costa Azul to design and construct the caisson breakwater for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) receipt terminal at Costa Azul in Baja California, Mexico.

The breakwater will serve to protect the import terminal's LNG off-loading jetty, and will be built using precast concrete caissons. These will be constructed in a casting basin located at Ensenada Port from where they will be floated-in to the LNG terminal at Costa Azul.

Joint venture

COWI MARINE North America was retained by the Costain-China Harbour joint venture to provide the detailed design of the casting basin facility. The Casin basin is situated next to existing facilities at the Port of Ensenada, and will be located on the existing beach and project out through the surf zone. Jetties built from armor rock will be constructed out from shore to form an enclosure to be filled in with sand reclaimed offshore from the casting basin.

Once the land mass has been reclaimed, excavation will take place to form the casting basin including a removable gate structure that can be floated in and out.

Flooded under controlled conditions

During construction of the caissons, the casting basin will remain dry, and when completed, the basin will be flooded under controlled conditions and the caissons floated out to their final destination at the LNG facility approximately 22 kilometres north of Ensenda.

Design of the 105 metres wide by 155 metes long and 12 metres deep basin imposes unique conditions for the design and construction of the basin.

Providing expertise

Preventing the intrusion of water is during the period of construction where the basin remains dry, is one of the areas where COWI MARINE North America provides expertise as a specialty marine engineering firm.

Construction of the basin will thus incorporate the inclusion of cutoff walls along the sides to minimize seepage of water from the underground. Along the seaward face, special care is taken to prevent intrusion of water from the open ocean and provide safe working conditions under the harsh exposure of waves from the open sea.

Detailed design

COWI Marine North America is responsible for the detailed civil and structural design of the casting basin facility, including geotechnical analyses and design relating to dewatering of the basin and stability of the slopes.

Furthermore, COWI MARINE North America is providing detailed design services for shoreline and slope protection, scour protection, including metocean studies of the wind climate, waves, currents, and tidal variations for the purpose of assessment of downtime for operation of the facility.

LAST UPDATED: 01.02.2017