Significant deterioration of concrete structures at the Manila International Container Terminal demanded a range of repair techniques and the installation of a cathodic protection system. But not only were the main repair sites accessible only at certain tidal conditions, all interventions had to respect daily operational schedules at the busy port.

  • Name of the owner
    Manila International Container Terminal
  • Name of the client
  • Delivery date of the project
    September 2021
  • Partners of the project
    Prime Metro BMD Corporation (partner in contracting consortium)

Ageing wharves

The scope of works covered five container ship berths at the terminal; four located on a 900 m-long concrete apron constructed in the 1980s on pile supports, and the fifth on a 400 m-long steel sheet piled quay wall built in the 1990s.

With the structure more than 30 years old, having had little maintenance during that time and being located in a hostile marine environment, the concrete was seriously in need of attention. A survey in 2017 confirmed the need for extensive repairs, but by the time work began two years later, conditions had deteriorated further and the scope of works had to be widened.

Alternative option

The initial bid was based on a traditional encapsulation method for repairing the concrete beams, but the need to prevent vibration of the structure during concrete pours would have impacted directly on port operations. Freyssinet’s proposal to use shotcrete instead of encapsulation was ultimately accepted.
Freyssinet was responsible for the concrete repairs under the wharf, replacing external post-tensioning tendon protection and installing a cathodic protection system, leading a consortium with Australian contractor Prime BMD which carried out specialist operations including underwater and sheet-pile repairs and replacement of mooring equipment.

Planning process

The wharf extends across an area of 40,000 m2; an estimated 900 m3 of concrete repairs was carried out, with the structure subsequently protected by the application of a silane coating. The most challenging element of the contract was the logistics of planning work around tidal and operational constraints.
The underside of the wharf deck, where much of the concrete repair was required, is very close to the water level, and access was only possible under specific tidal conditions. This demanded adaptation from day to night shifts as appropriate. The logistics of planning work schedules around the tides was further compounded by the need to prevent any impact on the activities of the container terminal. Work had to stop during loading and unloading operations, or when a crane needed to pass over the work site for example.

  • 900
    m3 of concrete repairs
  • 40,000
    m² of wharf

Multiple choice

To address this Freyssinet set up multiple work sites across the project, each with its own tools, equipment and materials, to enable crews to relocate and continue working when port operations intervened.
Traditional scaffolding access was initially considered for the underside of the deck, but due to the uplift forces anticipated from wave action, this was revised to a custom-designed system which could accommodate such motions. When typhoons were forecast, however, the access equipment was removed to prevent it being damaged.