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Falkland Islands Mare Harbour Ro-Ro Facility Upgrade and Refurbishment

The Mare Harbour Ro-Ro Facility allows vessels to berth and bring crucial supplies to the 1,200 British troops, stationed at Mount Pleasant on the Falklands Islands. A vessel broke free from its moorings in November 2009 because of severe weather. This caused structural damage to the moorings and jetty and raised concerns regarding the existing berthing and mooring operations.


We were tasked with designing and building an upgrade, fit for the future against the challenge of the harsh South Atlantic weather, a severely limited local supply chain, and the needed to keep the existing jetty operational, in order to keep supplies flowing to the troops. All of this needed to be delivered more than 8,000 miles away from the UK.

What we did

We upgraded the facility by designing and installing new mooring and berthing piles, interconnecting walkways between the structures, and replacing fire pumps, pipework, electrical systems, and the small boat pontoon.

We planned construction and the logistics of shipping 6,000t of plant, materials and components prior to departing the UK. By optimising the size of plant and equipment that needed to be shipped to the Falklands, we only needed 16 larger piles for the new structures, as opposed to the 50 that would be installed with smaller plant that was originally envisaged. We pre-fixed fender brackets and single-bolted flanges to the piles - reducing works on-site by half, and increasing safety, sustainability, and efficiency. We reduced concrete requirements by 90% by replacing heavy concrete deck and dolphin structures with prefabricated components.

We shipped modular bridges in well-protected containers that took up just 35% of their assembled volume. This sped up shipping and handling and allowed each bridge to be assembled in just two days.

Project successes

The newly refurbished and upgraded facility is now up and running. We completed the marine structures six weeks early, despite returning the berth to service five times for supply vessel arrivals. Our flexible plans accommodated short notice changes to arrival dates and we completed the project with some additional works within the client’s budget.

Our client praised us for the work we did to preserve the pristine local environment and we scored 83% (Excellent) on our CEEQUAL Assessment. CEEQUAL is the world’s leading sustainability rating scheme for infrastructure, engineering and public realm projects.  

We also won the International Project of the Year Award at the 2019 Construction News Awards. The judges praised how we had worked with the limited number of local suppliers and left a legacy of increased skills on the Islands.

“The introduction of health and safety standards on the islands was very positive, and the use of local labour and materials, as well as wider involvement with the local supply chain was exemplary.”

Construction News Awards judges