CLIENT: iMANAGE LTD
For many years, Marsaxlokk fishers had been calling for a new breakwater to protect the inner harbour area from rough seas, limiting the risks of storm damages to their anchored vessels and other equipment onshore. By absorbing the power of high waves entering this part of the harbour, the breakwater also reduces the impact on the buildings and business operations along the Marsaxlokk promenade, one of Malta’s principal tourism zones.
In 2019, Infrastructure Malta was entrusted with the development and maintenance of the 110-metre Qrejten breakwater, to shelter the Marsaxlokk fishing port and surrounding coastal areas. iManage Ltd. was awarded the tender to handle the project management services for the Construction of the Qrejten Breakwater Project.
iManage Ltd. entrusted AIS Environment to handle the Environmental Monitoring of the construction of the breakwater at Qrejten. The environmental monitoring focused on four main aspects, namely:
- General works practices
- Air quality (dust)
- Marine Environment
As part of the Environmental Monitoring of the project, our team of experts carried out regular site inspections to ensure that the contractor and all works were conforming to the Environmental Regulations and permit conditions.
The site and its surroundings were particularly sensitive due to the presence of Posidonia oceanica meadows in the surroundings. To minimise the adverse impact on the marine environment, a silt curtain was installed at the start of the works and was utiliszed throughout the project. A silt curtain is specifically designed to contain any material and suspended matter within a confined area, reducing the impact on protected species and habitats. The functionality of this curtain was to assess from the land by visual inspections, and from underwater via SCUBA diving surveys. Furthermore, the team collected water samples to monitor the quality of the water in the bay during the works.
Over and above the marine monitoring, the AIS team also carried out noise monitoring. The noise monitoring was done by using specialized equipment to ensure the construction noise levels did not exceed safety thresholds.
Works on site started in July 2019 and were completed within 18 months. The AIS team monitored the sites in line with the development permit conditions, guiding the contractors and operators along the way. We also liaised with ERA on behalf of the client, to ensure a smooth process.