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SeaRock boost coastal defences at West Bay

SeaRock 1 barge

New joint venture helps protect part of Dorset’s picturesque Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site

SeaRock – a new joint venture between Aggregate Industries and Earlcoate construction – have completed a delivery of armour-stone to protect Dorset’s picturesque West Bay, for principle contractors Bam Nuttall.

The project was part of a £9 million coastal-defence project, funded by Defra, West Dorset Council and Wessex Regional Flood Defence Committee.

West Bay, on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, had been eroding rapidly, but SeaRock’s delivery of 36,000 tonnes of armour-stone – with each individual stone weighing between 0.3 and 10 tonnes – will halt the damage.

The armour-stone was sourced from Aggregate Industries’ Glensanda super quarry, in Scotland, where it was loaded, in full, on to the Mobile Pearl before travelling 500 nautical miles to the agreed offshore anchorage position, 1.4 miles outside the Dorset coast’s Marine Conservation Area.

From there, SeaRock’s operational team joined forces with marine partners Holyhead Towing, who provided specialized shallow-drafted tugs for the efficient delivery of between 1,200 and 1,800 tonnes per tide, from ship to shore.

Delivery by this method provided significant programme savings, completing full supply in just 15 days and requiring zero road miles. The loads were shuttled to West Bay’s east and west shores using specially determined routes to reduce impact on fishing areas and Special Areas of Conservation, and to achieve maximum plant utilization and efficiency.

Aggregate Industries’ overseas director, Stephen Dryden, commented: ‘Aggregate Industries had previously supplied a 26,000-tonne project to renovate and protect the harbour at Portrush, in Northern Ireland, but in that instance the customer collected the rock armour. That made us think, in future, our customers would benefit from us managing the entire process.

‘That led to us forming SeaRock by partnering with specialist civil engineers Earlcoate and acquiring the SeaRock 1 barge on a long-term charter. Our first project as SeaRock at West Bay went smoothly and is testament to the expertise of all parties involved.’

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