Underwater drilling at Leixoes

2006 Sep 12

A major harbour deepening project is under way in Portugal with the help of six drill rigs mounted on three barges – a challenging task and an underwater adventure.

The Leixoes Harbour of Matosinhos in Portugal is being used by an increasing number of big ships, prompting a project to deepen the port.
The goal is to remove 200,000 m3 of rock, which involves the drilling and blasting of some 500,000 sq m of the seabed. To meet the objective, three barges are being used ? two with Atlas Copco ROC D7 drill rigs on board, and one with three purpose-built pneumatic rigs equipped with Atlas Copco rock drills.

The engineers plan to lower the harbour bottom by 2?4 m from its original depth of 6?10 m below the surface. When completed, it will be able to take ships up to 215 m long with drafts up to 11 m.

Epiroc operated under the trademark “Atlas Copco” prior to January 1, 2018.