The Sabah Al-Ahmad Sea City Project is yet another awe-inspiring pioneering project in the Middle East that has environmentalists around the globe holding their breath. Instead of reclaiming land back from the sea, it is bringing water inland to create an ecologically rich marine waterway city. BASF Construction Chemicals is helping to ensure its success.
Explains Ian Williams, Project Director at La'ala Al Kuwait: "The city is a commercial and residential development that will, on completion, house over 100 000 people. It's built on land that was mostly classified 'Sabkha' - a salt bog. What the developer, La'ala Al-Kuwait Real Estate Company proposes is to transform this land into a sustainable, ecologically rich environment by expanding the two existing intertidal creeks into inland lagoons, building self-sustaining islands on these waterways to create wildlife habitats, and planting mangrove to protect the new ecosystem. The biggest challenge was, however, to ensure sea tides could flush the system, oxygenating the water to ensure survival of the ecosystem and prevent pollution. This is where BASF comes in.
"The unique engineering solution the developer and designers came up with was a series of six massive tidally powered gates that allow for the tide circulation around the development. These gates were built into specially designed culverts which provide the main passage of the sea water to the lagoons. However, construction challenges presented themselves and this is where BASF expertise came into play."
"All six of the 10-ton 50m2 culvert gates were supported by hinges fixed with 25mm Macalloy tension bars. To ensure these huge tensile loads were evenly distributed back to the concrete structure, a strong and durable non-shrink grout had to be used. BASF had an answer for us.
"Durability was also a key factor given the extreme saline conditions of the local waters. In addition to the use of galvanized reinforcement, the developer, consultants and owners decided to coat the almost permanently submerged culverts with a protective membrane. BASF Construction Chemical proposed the use a complete protection system from its range of advanced solutions."
Securing gate hinges, enhancing durability of culverts
Notes Dr Christian Geierhaas, marketing head of BASF Construction Chemicals: "Masterflow 400 solvent free non-shrink epoxy resin grout was used to grout behind the gate hinges. This grout was chosen for its flowability and durability, and its ability to take on the dynamic loads which will be exerted by the Macalloy tension bars."
Masterseal SP 120 PF, a newly developed amine cured pitch free epoxy was used to coat the semi-submerged roofs, walls, and walkways of all the culverts to protect against chloride ion attack.
Concludes Dr Christian Geierhaas: "We are pleased that BASF Construction Chemicals was able to participate in the construction of the Sabah Al-Ahmad Sea City and to be associated with the development. BASF as a company is strongly driven by the philosophy of eco-friendly construction and we appreciate and fully support what they are trying to achieve."
BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Through science and innovation we enable our customers in almost all industries to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and system solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring healthy food and nutrition and helping to improve the quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF posted sales of about EUR63.9 billion in 2010 and had approximately 109,000 employees as of the end of 2010. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at http://www.basf.com or in the Social Media Newsroom at newsroom.basf.com [http://newsroom.basf.com ].
Source: BASF Construction Chemicals