TCB expands terminal yard with pioneering asphalt pavement solution in Spain

11 April 2013. The Barcelona Container Terminal (TCB), part of Grup TCB, has presented a pioneering asphalt pavement solution that will be applied on its yard as part of the proposed expansion project to be completed by mid-2013. With this, it becomes the first Spanish port terminal to use SMA (Stone Mastic Asphalt), a solution with an increased resistance to cracking and rutting compared to conventional asphalt mixtures.

Due to upcoming growth at the terminal, Grup TCB’s Department of Design and Construction found an asphalt solution with high fatigue resistance and greater durability. It was a necessary step given the high stress levels of South Pier Terminal pavements in the Port of Barcelona.

It was created a group led by Grup TCB’s engineers that, together with the Detailed Design Agency (IDOM) and the fibre provider (Rettenmaier Ibérica) in collaboration with the applicator enterprise (VIASFALT), designed a pavement with specific solutions in different asphalt pavement layers. Polymer stabilisation treatment for yard coronation layers has been applied, thus reducing investment by 14% compared with conventional pavement solutions, while also decreasing maintenance costs. Furthermore, specific solutions at the interfaces between the different sections of pavement and structural elements have been implemented.

As explained by TCB representatives, "Our engineers have developed an asphalt solution that increases operational capacity in the South Pier to reduce maintenance tasks, and at the same time ensuring the comfort and safety of workers."

The paving is being done on vials of 24 new hectares, which with the expansion will become part of the Barcelona Container Terminal in the coming months.

In parallel to this improvement, the TCB expansion project implemented by COPISA and VIASFALT includes:

·         the mooring line extension by 150 metres, which will reach a total length of 1,515 metres;

·         enabling two different terminal accesses for entry and exit of cargo;

·         and the installation of six automatic doors fitted with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for monitoring traffic in real-time.

After these implementations, it is expected that container movements will increase by 0.9 million TEUs, reaching 2.3 million TEUs capacity.

After the improvement, the rail terminal will have six rail tracks with international and Iberian gauge (it presently has five), to facilitate connectivity with the French border and central Europe. Furthermore, the length of rail tracks will increase from current 450 metres to 750 metres.