Inside the project

St Helena Island: Rupert’s Bay permanent wharf

Wharf for handling cargo, complete with breakwater protection, passenger landing facilities, and slipway for rescue craft.

PRDW was appointed by Basil Read Limited on behalf of the St Helena Government (funding through the Department for International Development (U.K.)) to undertake the full design development and site support for the provision of a permanent wharf facility in Rupert’s Bay, St Helena Island.

Historically there have been no proper berthing facilities on the island and all personnel, equipment and materials had to be transported on barges from vessels moored offshore to a small landing facility in Jamestown, the capital of the island.

The 118m long, 7m draft wharf for handling cargo, complete with breakwater protection, passenger landing facilities, and slipway for rescue craft in Rupert’s Bay on the Island of St Helena was necessary to develop port infrastructure facilities. As the first permanent wharf in the Island’s history this project significantly improves the operational safety, efficiency and reliability of the island’s maritime service.

The extreme remoteness of the island required careful design and planning as all equipment, materials and personnel had to be shipped on a six day voyage either from Cape Town or Walvis Bay. The logistical challenges limited the construction options and the design had to be adapted to suit. All design work had to be completed months in advance to allow time for procurement, fabrication, road transfer to the port of departure and shipping.

During execution, the pre-cast yard set up in Rupert’s Valley cast 400 x 27 ton concrete blocks and 1600 x 7.2 ton Core-LocTM units for the wharf.

PRDW’s input included:

  • Site investigations and geotechnical assessment
  • Coastal processes including all required numerical modelling
  • Concept designs
  • Navigation and vessel motion studies
  • Breakwater layout and design
  • Quay wall selection and detail design
  • Physical model testing
  • Value engineering
  • Specifications, drawings, BOQ, costing, risk assessments, EIA input
  • Construction site support



Concept Design, Preliminary Design, Detailed Design and Site Support


South Atlantic Ocean, St Helena Island, Rupert’s Bay


Basil Read Ltd


Basil Read Ltd


2011 – 2016

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