"Typically, a project of this size would take three or four years to be completed, but the owners are very ambitious and want to be in production within two years," said Seah Yeow Teck, general manager for New Territories at Keller ASEAN. "It's a very fast-track project, so they only want quality, reliable contractors who can deliver on time, which is how Keller got involved."
The scope of works included carrying out soil investigation and designing and building foundations for the iron ore stockpile area, which covers around 200,000m2. Large-scale testing was also required.
"This was the first time our Vietnam team had to deliver such a complex project, but one of the big advantages of Keller is that we're able to draw on the expertise and experiences of our colleagues across the region," explained Teck. "So, we had experts from our teams in Singapore and Malaysia come over and provide invaluable support in terms of engineering, quality control, project management, site supervision and equipment.
"Through our local business development manager, Cao Ngoc Loi, we were able to engage early with the client, their consultants and equipment suppliers and use our know-how from other projects across the region to model all aspects of the job. From this, we created a robust and cost-efficient design that would meet the tight schedule.
"We considered numerous foundation techniques - such as piling, which has been used historically for stockpile foundations - but we eventually proposed vibro compaction for the upper sand layer and stone columns for the deeper clays. Together they provided the most economical solution in terms of cost and time, while still providing the quality needed."