Cut-off wall beneath the Shwaib Dam, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

To protect large areas of farmland from seasonal floods, the Municipality of Al Ain decided to construct a gravity concrete dam to form a water storage basin at the wadi Al Shwaib not far from the border with Oman.
Appointed by the main contractor Consolidated Contractors International Company Ltd., the Abu Dhabi branch of Bauer International constructed a 17 m deep cut-off wall socketed into the bedrock.


A particular complication of the contract was trenching the cut-off wall, through the sandy to gravelly alluvial strata, and penetrating sufficiently deep into the silt stone and extremely hard conglomerate bedrock to form a socket to accept the base of the wall.

Bauer´s solution, accepted by the client´s engineers, was to excavate a 64 cm (25 in) wide slurry trench to a maximum depth of 17 m (56 ft.) with Bauer´s BC 30 trench cutter.

Forming part of the final structure of the dam, the cut-off wall created a very effective barrier in the permeable subsoil, to prevent underflow from water in the storage basin.

Due to the advanced technology employed by Bauer International the company was able to accomplish construction of the
17,000 m2 (183,000 ft.2) cut-off wall in 6 month using only one cutter rig. Starting in August 1988 the completion date of January 1989 was achieved on time, to the full satisfaction of the client.

Scope of work:
Construction of a 17,000 m2 cut-off wall, 64 cm thick and to 17 m deep, beneath a water storage dam near Al Ain, utilizing the Bauer slurry trench cutter technique.