BMT Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, Singapore


A study of how river current-induced erosion could impact the piles of the planned Thilawa Jetty in Myanmar

With plans for the construction of a modern multi-purpose international jetty at the Thilawa port area in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, it was important to understand how scour might impact the integrity of both the overall structure and individual piles.

The jetty, constructed by Wilmar Myanmar Port Terminals (Thilawa) Limited and designed by BMT Asia Pacific, will be located along the Yangon River, Myanmar, and is expected to receive container vessels, dry bulk carriers, liquid tanker vessels and general cargo vessels.

Local scour is the erosion of sea bed material around the foundations of a structure inserted into it, caused by the flow of water. Over time, the mobility of that sea bed could impact the structural integrity of the foundations of, for instance, bridges and hydraulic structures, causing structural instability.

The Hydroinformatics Institute developed a 3D scour model to analyse the impact of scour around each of the jetty’s 179 piles as well as to its overall structure. A more sensitive local scour analysis was also done at various maximum current speeds. This was carried out for an anticipated life span of 50 years and 500 years.

A better understanding of the scouring process, its potential impact, and considering various design values like current speed and life span, could ensure that the right failure prevention measures are put in place.