Quality tests begin for $4.3bn Kuwait airport project
Large-scale quality testing is under way for the expansion project on which Limak is working as main contractor
A quality control and testing operations contract has been awarded for the new, Foster + Partners-designed terminal project under way at Kuwait International Airport. Geotechnical company Advanced Construction Technology Services (ACTS) has won the deal for the project, on which Limak is involved as contractor, alongside local construction company Kharafi National.
In a statement, ACTS said more than 50 of its engineers, concrete technologists, inspectors, and technicians are involved with the project, for which it is handling the entire “materials testing scope, ranging from soil and aggregate to concrete and steel”. Its work is being implemented through a 280m2 laboratory and a 1,000m2 space for curing, office, and storage areas.
Additionally, ACTS is carrying out a concrete quality-control engineering programme as part of its contract, which entails specialised ACTS professionals collaborating with Limak’s quality control team. The programme covers the “pre-placement, placement, and post-placement” of concrete.
Kuwait International Airport’s new terminal features an architecturally complex design comprising three symmetrical wings that will make up its departure gates. The scheme also includes the renovation of two existing runways at the airport, and the development of a third runway.
Façades spanning 1.2km will extend from “a dramatic 25m-high central space” at the new terminal, ACTS said, adding that its roof will “filter daylight and deflect solar radiation”. This design is expected to help the airport terminal – located in one of the world’s hottest regions – achieve its Leed Gold certification target. Receiving the building sustainability accreditation would make the Kuwait aviation facility the world’s first airport to achieve the certification. Upon completion, the new terminal will serve 13 million passengers annually within Phase 1, with overall airport capacity gradually rising to 50 million passengers in the future.
Limak Kuwait’s country manager, Eng Kayihan Bagdatli, said ACTS was awarded the contract due to its “deep knowledge” of materials engineering and testing.
He added: “The selection of ACTS to carry the quality control and testing programme [came] after a thorough consideration of its capabilities and expertise in large-scale projects.”
Khaled Awad, chairman of ACTS and former president of American Concrete Institute, added: “Besides King Abdul Aziz Airport, Jeddah Tower, and Riyadh Metro in Saudi Arabia, we are proud to also be involved with Kuwait International Airport, one of the most iconic infrastructure projects in the region.
“We look forward to working jointly with Limak to address the various technical challenges on this massive project and achieve a unique output of quality and efficiency.”
Kuwait International Airport’s new terminal is one of the largest active construction projects not only in the GCC country, but across the Middle East. According to construction intelligence platform ProTenders, ACTS is one of the 16 organisations involved with this project, which makes up Package 1 of Kuwait International Airport Terminal 2’s expansion. The expansion scheme has a total value of approximately $4.3bn (KWD1.27bn). Some of the other companies helping to build Package 1, as per its ProTenders page, include Dar SSH, Arup Group, KEO, Mammoet, and Assent. The latter is a steel manufacturer that is part of the UAE’s ASGC construction group.
This May, heavy equipment manufacturer Mammoet said it had won the deal from main contractor Limak to carry out heavy lifting work for the Kuwait project. Mammoet was contracted to install precast sections for the terminal’s main structure, which features 804 concrete elements that each weigh between 200-360t. In a statement at the time, Mammoet said it would use nine crawler cranes, each between 600-1,600t in weight, for the scheme, in addition to 72 axle lines of self-propelled modular transporters.
Mammoet’s announcement came after Limak was instructed by the client, Kuwait’s Ministry of Public Works, to “expedite” project works, which a top official said this April were “progressing smoothly”. Kuwait’s Minister of Public Works, Hussam Al-Roumi, said achieving the timely completion of the terminal had been emphasised by Kuwait’s HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Al-Roumi described the terminal as an “architectural masterpiece”.
In February 2018, Limak signed credit agreements with a combined value of $830.6m (KWD249.2m) for the expansion project. National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House were roped in through the agreements, worth $411.2m (KWD124.6m) apiece, to fund the expanded Kuwait airport terminal’s construction.