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Fleet of 39 Volvo machines tackles Lebanese waste

Khoury Contracting Company uses Volvo machines supplied by Amtrac to execute $100m landfill and reclamation project to hold 1.6 million tonnes of refuse

Aerial view of the Bourj Hammoud Landfill, including the reclamation area and breakwater.
Aerial view of the Bourj Hammoud Landfill, including the reclamation area and breakwater.
Volvo excavators extract the waste from the existing dump and load the material onto articulated haulers.
Volvo excavators extract the waste from the existing dump and load the material onto articulated haulers.

A fleet of 39 Volvo CE machines has been deployed to remove an existing waste dump and construct a sanitary reclaimed landfill site in Lebanon, which has been hitting the headlines in recent years for the scale of the waste disposal problems affecting some of its municipalities.

Khoury Contracting Company (KCC) has deployed its fleet, alongside over 200 KCC employees on behalf of the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) in Lebanon to dispose of a vast accumulation of rubbish on the shores of one coastal town.

Located northeast of Beirut, Bourj Hammoud is home to 150,000 residents within 2.5km2, making it one of the most densely populated districts in the Middle East. For the past 27 years, it has also been home to a 47m-high ‘rubbish mountain’.

In 2016, the Lebanese government announced the reopening of the Bourj Hammoud Landfill, and as such, a tender was held for the removal of the mountain of rubbish and its replacement with a new, sanitary landfill. Upon completion in August 2020, the $100m project will hold 1.6 million tonnes.

“Our history of working on large projects provides us with the experience and confidence to complete the Bourj Hammoud Landfill,” said Toufic Kazmouz, project manager at KCC. “We have the right team and equipment – both of which are essential to ensure the success of the project.”

The equipment for the project was supplied by Volvo CE dealer for Lebanon, Amtrac, and includes EC460B, EC380D, EC350D, EC360B and EC290B excavators, A35C, A35D A40 and A40D articulated haulers, L180E and L220E wheel loaders and SD110 soil compactors.

The purchase of capable off-highway equipment was essential for the project, as the existing landfill lacked access roads. KCC did construct three access roads for the project, but rainfall causes mud to form on the unpaved surfaces.

Kazmouz explained: “Given the severe conditions, articulated haulers are ideal for transporting the trash dump over the uneven, muddy roads, which contain high levels of acidity.”

In phase one of the project, the Volvo excavators and articulated haulers will excavate 3.5 million cubic metres of waste from the existing site for sorting and later, backfilling into a 340,000m2 reclaimed area protected by a breakwater.

Three million cubic metres of rock fill material will in turn be used to provide the bulk of the breakwater, as well as 200,000m2 of concrete to line the face of the edifice.

The sanitary landfill will be comprised of eight cells, lined with two million square meters of material-isolating geomembrane to contain the solid waste that will be transported from existing treatment centres in Beirut.

“Volvo’s low fuel consumption is unbeatable,” added Simon Azar, plant machine and vehicle manager at KCC. “Compared to competitor brands, the Volvo excavators consume less fuel, and ensure fast cycle times and high productivity.”

Most of the Volvo machines are working for 14 hours a day, seven days a week, and were supplied by Amtrac together with a service agreement.

Azar continued: “Amtrac has played a significant part in ensuring the uptime of our machines. The maintenance team and the high availability of parts are just a couple of the many factors that contribute to our long relationship with the dealership.”

The whole construction of the phase will take place over 30 months.

Established in 1987, KCC specialises in marine and municipal work, as well as heavy civil engineering. Its portfolio consists of several high-profile projects, including the construction of the Boqaata dam in Lebanon, which, with seven million cubic meters of water, is Mount Lebanon’s largest water source.

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