A total of 27 million m³ of calcareous sands were compacted, that is about 11 times as big as the Great Pyramid of Giza!

Upper Zakkum Islands, Keller

The project

ZADCO a subsidiary of ADNOC awarded NMDC the main contract for dredging and reclamation works for the four islands M, N, W, and S, 80km off the coast of Abu Dhabi to enhance oil productivity. To create these islands, 23.5 million cubic meters of calcareous sand were dredged from borrow areas in the vicinity of the site to reach a platform level of +6.2m CD. 

The challenge

It was one of the first major offshore project for Keller in the Middle East, accessing the site from a barge and working and living on a ship were quite challenging for our engineers and staff in the beginning. At the end of the project, Keller reached the maximum treated depth of 21m with a total densification of 27 million cubic meters of calcareous sands over a period of 4 years.

The solution

The famous Keller type S700 vibrators were used for primary vibro compaction and the type S300 vibrators were used for secondary vibro compaction in some of the islands. Greater than 70% relative density was achieved along the duration of this project.

Project facts


Zakum Development Company (ZADCO)

Keller business unit(s)

Middle East

Main contractor(s)

National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC)