Testconsult complete 440Te offshore pile load test in West Africa.

As part of a new project to exploit the mineral wealth of one of Africa’s poorest countries, Testconsult were invited by the Guinea Alumina Corporation to perform a 440Te static load test on an offshore test pile.

Testconsult’s client on the project was SETH S.A., a Portuguese specialist marine construction company. Bechtel International were the main contractors on site, with design work by UK based design and engineering consultant Peter Fraenkel and Partners.

The piles on site will form the foundations for a pier to facilitate the docking of container ships importing essential mining and processing equipment. Guinea is already one of the world’s largest exporters of bauxite, aluminium ore; however this project will allow the metal smelting process to be completed within the country. The net effect of this development will hopefully bring much needed employment to the area and a return on profits for the economic benefit of the whole country.

Testconsult mobilised specialist testing Engineer Alex Whittaker and approximately 1Te of equipment for the project, including a 500Te capacity hydraulic jack and our computerised SLT2 static load test system manufactured by Testconsult’s Equipment Division.

The piling contractor on site (SETH) manufactured a 4 pile reaction system with reinforced cross-beams to mobilise the high loads required on to the central 914mm test pile. The test area was situated in a tidal estuary so all equipment was installed at low tide via a temporary causeway and monitored from a raised position 20 meters from the test pile.

The equipment allowed continuous live monitoring for two days with displacement, load and temperature measurements recorded every minute. Secondary load and displacement measuring devices were also in place to check for gross error and monitor the uplift on reaction piles that were also to become working piles on the project.

Contact us for more information on our pile testing services both in the UK and overseas.