New Providence Island, Bahamas

Esso Clifton Terminal

Project Description 
Investigation into the Causes of Concrete Deterioration of Concrete Dolphins

The Esso Bahamas Clifton Terminal supplies fuel to New Providence Island and the outlying islands in the Bahamas. The terminal includes a fuel distribution dock for the berthing and mooring of small tankers.

SIMCO was hired to evaluate the current condition of the cracked dolphins located at the Clifton Terminal facilities in the Bahamas. The dolphins were designed to last a minimum of 30 years, however according to information received the structures were showing significant cracking after only 12 months in service.

SIMCO’S scope of work consisted in evaluating the current condition of the concrete in order to determine the cause(s) of the premature deterioration and cracks observed on the dolphins. Information provided which included the results of a field investigation, were supplemented by a comprehensive laboratory testing program performed by SIMCO on concrete cores extracted from the dolphins.

SIMCO’s concrete materials experts evaluated the condition of the concrete near the surface and at the heart of the structures by petrographic examination; the objective of this investigation was to determine if the concrete was suffering from an internal degradation mechanism. The laboratory investigation program also included the evaluation of the compressive strength, porosity and chloride contamination levels.

Laboratory test results were able to show the main cause of the deterioration which was responsible for the cracking observed. SIMCO was also able to determine that the service life of the dolphins would probably not be reached if mitigation actions were not undertaken as cracking and reinforcement corrosion had already begun.

A complete report detailing the current condition of the dolphins and recommended repair and maintenance options were provided following the investigation program.



Client Objectives
  • Determine the current condition of the cracked dolphins
  • Identify the cause(s) of premature deterioration observed
  • Establish efficient repair and maintain options to ensure the dolphins would reach the designed service life
SIMCO’s Solution
  • Perform a visual inspection on the concrete cores received
  • Conduct a laboratory investigation program to determine the cause and level of the deterioration observed
  • Recommend cost-effective repair and maintenance options to extend the service life of the dolphins
  • A better understanding  of the current condition of the concrete
  • The causes of the premature cracking observed on the dolphins were identified
  • Cost-effective repair and maintenance options to achieve the intended service life of the dolphins