Mega Philippine land development to keep Boskalis’ dredgers busy for years

Boskalis has won its largest project to date. The EUR 1.5 billion contract concerns the land development of the Manila International Airport in the Philippines. Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski says the contract secures the utilisation for the company’s large dredging vessels for the coming years.

The Letter of Confirmation of Acceptance of Bid was issued by San Miguel Aerocity Inc (SMAI), a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation (SMC). SMAI is the concession holder of Manila International Airport (MIA), which is a greenfield development aimed at serving the growing air traffic demands in the Greater Capital Region of Manila and will complement the air traffic operations at the existing and congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

‘The confirmation of a project of this scale is fantastic news,’ says Peter Berdowski, CEO. ‘As Boskalis, we have a rich tradition in creating land all over the world to the highest technical and environmental standards. We enthusiastically look forward to applying this know-how for the Manila International Airport land development. During the construction phase, we will contribute to the local economy and the new airport will bring further socio-economic growth to the greater Manila region.’

1700 hectares

Approximately 1700 hectares of land will be developed for the MIA airport in Bulakan, located around twenty kilometers north of the heart of Metro Manila in Bulacan Province. The land development project will be designed according to the highest technical and environmental standards to withstand potential large earthquakes, local typhoons and future sea level rise.

The government of the Philippines has granted a fifty-year concession to SMAI to build, operate and maintain the airport. The land development phase will be financed through a consortium of international banks. SMC has completed its environmental and social impact assessment consistent with local regulations and is currently conducting a more comprehensive study to ensure long-term sustainability and adherence to international standards.

Dynamic compaction

For the dredging activities, which will span over a period of three years, Boskalis will deploy a number of trailing suction hopper dredgers including its largest mega hopper dredgers and a large cutter suction dredger. Boskalis’ workplan and methodology includes measures to prevent soil liquefaction in the entire area through the use of dynamic compaction. Preparatory work is scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2021 with the land development project expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Picture: Boskalis’ trailing suction hopper dredger Prins der Nederlanden (by Boskalis).

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.