"Sand Engine" to Protect U.K. Gas Terminal

By MarEx 2017-09-14 19:06:32

The coastal erosion around the U.K.'s Bacton Gas Terminal will be curtailed by a long-term sandscaping solution provided by Royal HaskoningDHV.

Royal HaskoningDHV has adapted the Dutch ‘Sand Engine’ concept for the project that will see 1.5 million cubic meters of sand placed along the coast to protect a five kilometer stretch of the U.K.’s east coast including the Bacton Gas Terminal (operated by Shell and Perenco) together with its neighboring communities. The volume of sand to be used at Bacton is approximately equal to 200 football pitches covered one meter (three feet) deep in sand, and will come from existing licensed dredging areas.

Long-term coastal erosion is depleting the area’s beaches, leaving cliffs and seawalls exposed. Severe storms in 2007 and 2013 caused significant cliff erosion and flooding, underlining the project's urgency.

The first Sand Engine was introduced in 2011 on the Dutch coast and entails depositing a large volume of sand in a location from which it is distributed by coastal processes over a larger part of the coast. Royal HaskoningDHV was heavily involved in the design of the original Dutch concept. The Bacton project is the first time the concept will be applied outside the Netherlands.

Jaap Flikweert, Flood Resilience Leading Professional at Royal HaskoningDHV said: “In the sandscaping initiative we are working with British partners to translate the Dutch Sand Engine to the very different context of the U.K. It is all about using the natural energy of the sea to distribute the sand, and this can make sandy solutions affordable. It enhances the natural coastline without leaving a permanent mark, and can also be adapted and extended easily if needed in the future.”

The project is a public-private venture of Bacton Gas Terminal together with North Norfolk District Council. It is expected to take place in the summer of 2018.