Geotechnical Aspects of Kooragang Coal Terminal Stage 3 Expansion

Stephen Jones (Principal) and Chris Bozinovski (Associate) Douglas Partners Pty Ltd

The Stage 3 Expansion of the Kooragang Coal Terminal is a $345 million project, which will boost the coal exporting capacity of the Port of Newcastle from 77 million to 89 million tonnes per year. Port Waratah Coal Services appointed Bechtel Australia in July 1999 to design and construct the expansion.

The key construction elements of the Stage 3 Expansion Project include a third stacking conveyor, rail receival (dump) station, new stockpile pad and reclaimer, rail bridge, shipping conveyor stream and shiploader.

Douglas Partners provided geotechnical, environmental and earthworks testing services for design and construction purposes. The site is underlain by soft estuarine sediments, which are susceptible to settlement via consolidation and creep. The investigation included extensive use of cone penetration tests (including standard friction cone, piezocone and seismic cone).

A feature of the geotechnical design was the use of a two-stage 9 metre high preload to consolidate and improve ground conditions prior to construction of the 1.2 km long coal pad and reclaimer berm. Geotechnical monitoring including settlement monitoring plates, vibrating wire piezometers, inclinometers, earth pressure cells and an extensometer installed to the bedrock at approximately 50 metres depth.

Stephen and Chris will present an overview of the geotechnical aspects of the project, covering investigation, design, preload monitoring, materials testing and construction. The expanded facilities are expected to be completed in September 2001.

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