Project Ras Laffan, Qatar

Dolphins at Ras Laffan

World premier for marine rehabilitation

A dozen mooring and berthing piles (dolphins) of the world's largest LNG operations centre, in Qatar, were in need of a serious facelift. BESIX undertook the operation, encasing the cracked pillars in new steel structures manufactured offsite. A world premiere.

Cracked dolphins

Situated some 80 km from Doha, Ras Laffan Petrochemical Industrial City has long been a thriving hub for the production of liquefied natural gas and for gas-to-liquid conversion. Enclosing a 4,500 hectares water area, it ranks as the world's largest artificial harbour and the world's leading LNG export centre. Nevertheless, the great are not immune to the ravages of time. The concrete pillars of one of its mooring berths had begun to crack significantly. BESIX was assigned the task of renovating them.


World first

Based on design work from client Qatargas, BESIX’s engineers decided to encase the pillars in structures prefabricated off-site. The steel caissons were built on land, launched and towed to their final location before being weighted with concrete. This innovative strategy, validated, detailed and calculated by the BESIX Design Department, called for a multidisciplinary approach involving marine works experts, structural engineers, and steel and concrete specialists.

A well-devised solution, completed on time, thanks to forward-thinking and the coordination with the implementation team.

Minimum downtime

Given imperative operational requirements, the teams had just four months' access to the berth for completing their mission. The key to success lay in the meticulous preparation of operations, and daily coordination with engineers and the customer in order to resolve quickly and effectively any unforeseen technical or logistical problems. The site was completed on time, with minimal impact on the operation of the Qatari port!


Project details

Project name

Dolphins at Ras Laffan


Quay Walls

Contract type

Design & Build


Ras Laffan, Qatar


Six Construct


Qatargas Operating Co. Ltd. Doha, Qatar

Building Period

2013 - 2014

Total value

€ 31.3 million

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