Arabtec has signed the first contract for the testing of five deep foundation barrettes, extending to 70 meters into the soft ground, to establish their buildability in the site subsoil and their bearing capacity to support the main 400 meter high tower at the Okhta Centre development in St. Petersburg. The value of the contract is approximately AED 50 Million and the testing is expected to be completed in 5 months. Work has already started. The contract was awarded by Gazprom-Neft.
Arabtec is expecting to sign the next contract by November for testing 10 piles with various diameters and lengths. This second contract will be similar to the barrettes testing contract and should be completed in 6 months.
The third contract to be awarded by the end of the year will be for testing of the diaphragm wall construction that will, envelope the site.
These series of tests are necessary to obtain the building permit from the planning authorities in Saint Petersburg before the final project permit is issued.
A source at Arabtec said “The award of this first contract and the expected further test contracts, confirm the imminent intention of Gazprom-Neft to proceed with its plans to go ahead with the construction of the Okhta Centre Project subject to final tests and designs being agreed and approved.” These awards are separate from the main contract, and their values are not part of the main contract amount, which has been subject to long and intense negotiations with Arabtec Construction for more than a year now.
Arabtec Construction received the Letter of Award for the above project in April 2008 and has since then been working very closely with Gazprom-Neft to develop method statements and project budgets for the project.
Gazprom-Neft won final approval this week from the city of St. Petersburg to build what may become Europe’s tallest skyscraper.