Port of Coronel – Container Terminal

Structural seismic design with seismic isolators
Conceptual, Basic and Detail Engineering
Puerto de Coronel S.A. requested PRDW to provide conceptual, basic and detail engineering services for the development of a new container terminal for ships up to an overall length of 300m and 13.5m draft.
Chile, Biobío, Bay of Coronel

The project consists of a finger pier 450m long and 35m wide, for operation of two Gantry cranes for two Post-Panamax container berths by the north side and for handling containers and general cargo cranes with two berths on the south side.

One relevant aspect was the  structural seismic design that included the use of seismic isolators, becoming an innovative and unique worldwide port design.

The engineering developed by PRDW included:

  • Study of local operational and design wave conditions.
  • Study of wave penetration.
  • Definition of port layout.
  • Operational studies for circulation and manoeuvring areas on the pier.
  • Study of operational downtime.
  • Basic and detail design of all marine works.
  • Coordination and specifications for cranes acquisition.

Furthermore PRDW was responsible, supervised and coordinated the following studies and activities:

  • Study of ship manoeuvring.
  • Soil mechanics.
  • Oceanographic measurements.

The seismic design consisted of placing seismic isolators under the main deck to isolate during an earthquake the deck and cranes. This solution implies a relevant reduction on seismic accelerations of the structure.

Design advantages:

  • Better safety standard for the structure.
  • Reduction of seismic forces on the piles and beams.
  • Reduction of seismic forces for the gantry crane.
  • Better construction facilities for the concrete beams.
  • Reduction of the cost the pier.
  • Reduction of tensile piles (fewer anchoring).



Date: February 27, 2010.

Magnitude:  8.8 Mw  (5th largest earthquake in the world).

Location of the wharf: 100 km of epicentre.

Post earthquake wharf status: Without damages.

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