Açu Port

Description of social and environmental performance.

Problem detected:

The Açu Port works, located on the northern coast of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, had a specific area designated for construction and demolition debris known as “bota fora”. Since the beginning of the port construction works, all of the construction debris, especially concrete and aggregates, were stored in this area that reached a volume in excess of 80,0300 m3. During the construction of the riprap jetty made up of a vertical dam with 47 shelves and a 600m sloping breakwater, the volume of waste materials increased becoming a major environmental liability for the Client, directly responsible for the disposal of these materials.

Adopted solutions:

The amount of accumulated waste material motivated FCC Construction and the Client to analyse the possibility of using waste material to construct the breakwater. Initially much of the waste material was used to prepare the foundations of the sloping breakwater; excavators with hammer breakers were used to prepare the filling material. This processed material was deposited in the foundations of the sloping breakwater using boats and dump trucks. At a later stage we continued to use waste accumulated during 2014 and 2015, to fill the anchored shelves.


This action of reusing material waste shows that often the most environmentally favourable measures are also the most economic. The measures adopted in this project allowed us to:
  • Reuse a volume of material that was considered as an environmental liability and avoid its disposal in another site where it would undoubtedly have had a greater environmental impact.
  • Reduce costs by avoiding the production and purchase of the equivalent volume of rock necessary to build the sloping breakwater.
  • Reduce costs associated with the disposal of waste material, such as transport costs and final waste disposal.
  • Reduce costs associated with shelves, by using waste material instead of dredged sand.