World Maps Interactive

South America

ONLYgeotechnics has worked in several countries in South America. The company has provided geotechnical designs, technical support and expert advice on various port and reclamation projects. The services include ground investigations, dredging stability analysis and stability assessments.


    A container terminal was developed at Port La Plata, Argentina. The original port was upgraded with expansion of both the land-based facilities and the access channel to accommodate larger vessels – approximately 4,000,000m3 of material was dredged for the upgrade works. To form the new channel the existing access was widened and deepened by approximately 2 metres along its length through dredging, reaching a final level of -10.4mCD.

Cartegena Container Terminal

    The Container Port Terminal is located in Cartegena de Indias, Colombia. A joint venture manages and developed the multi-purpose terminal in Colombia’s second-busiest container port, located at the northern tip of South America on Colombia’s Caribbean coast.


    Constructed near Puerto Moín along the Caribbean coastline of Costa Rica, the new container terminal supports the export of local produce and is capable of taking post-Panamax vessels. The tectonic activity in Costa Rica is complex as the country lies at the convergence of four tectonic plates: the Caribbean, South American, Coco and Nazca plates.

    The poor ground conditions at the site required various types of ground improvement including preloading, surcharging, pre-fabricated vertical drains (PVDs) and vibro-compaction.

Posorja Port Terminal

    The Posorja Multi-Purpose Terminal is located at the mouth of the Guayas River. The area of the site is approximately 56ha and part of the site is reclaimed land. The terminal expansion required re-profiling the ground, some reclamation, various types of ground treatment and the installation of container yard equipment. Ground investigations and laboratory test results have been used by the contractor's designer to develop appropriate seismic response spectra.

Essequibo Shore Base

    Located on the major Essequibo River, West of the capital, Georgetown and facing the Atlantic Ocean, the ground conditions comprise soft soils of variable thickness. Desk studies of reports in the public domain revealed that the rehabilitation of sea defences near to the site had similar ground conditions which were sensitive to filling. This information provided a valuable background to the development of the shore base.