Solmax geosynthetics secure canals for mega fish farm in Egypt
In Egypt, phase two of the mega aquaculture project in East Port Said launched by government in 2017 is well under way. The project includes construction of a hatchery for fish and shrimp on 4,000 acres of land, which will be supplied with fresh sea water by system of canals. Lining those canals will be three million square meters of geosynthetics from Solmax.
“This is a valuable project that will contribute to food security, job creation, and economic growth in Egypt”, Allan Jackson, Sales Director, EMEA. “Solmax’s geosynthetics have been used successfully in a number of aquaculture and other containment projects around the world. We are very pleased to be able to play a role in the development of this project”.
Twenty thousand acres have been set aside for this mega project which is being managed by the state agency, the Suez Canal Fish Farming and Aquaculture Company. The project aims to supply up to 70 percent of Egypt’s domestic demand. It will, on completion, include four thousand acres of aquaculture ponds (700 ponds on completion of phase two) across a 7,500–acre area of sedimentation basins. A number of related structures, including a fish processing plant, ice plant, fish feed plant and packaging plant; a veterinary and laboratory facility; and berthing facilities will ensure self-sufficiency. Excellence in construction will lay the foundation for success.
“The fish farm will have capacity for 20 million fish and two billion shrimp. As water continually evaporates from the ponds, keeping the ponds well supplied with fresh sea water will be critical to production, playing a crucial role in keeping fish healthy and growing, and the facilities disease free. The construction of the intake channel and canals for water supply and drainage of water are thus central to ensuring the success of this project”, says Jackson.
The canals are built in three layers, the first is compacted sand, the second is the Solmax double-textured geomembrane, and the third layer is concrete. After testing of the geosynthetics by the Egyptian government, El Maseria For Insulation Company, Solmax’s distributor in Egypt, supplied the project with three million square meters of black, 1mm, double-sided textured HDPE geomembrane.
The geosynthetics are important because they help ensure the integrity of the canals, the pond system, and the environment.
“The hatchlings, fish and shrimp that are harvested from aquaculture facilities are only as good as the quality and quantity of the water found in the ponds”, notes Jackson. “As clean water becomes more expensive to pump and transport, the need for secure water containment grows. Installing a low permeability geomembrane in the canals will help keep fresh water volumes consistent. It will also keep waste products being drained contained, and prevent intrusion of groundwater-borne pollutants from entering the aquaculture pond systems.
“Other beneficial qualities of the Solmax HDPE geomembranes is that they contain no additives or chemicals that can leach out or impact water quality or harm animal life. In addition, the textured surfaces of the geomembrane play a role in construction, helping with slope containment and stability through increased friction between the material and the soil, and to improve concrete adhesion at placement.”
The project took 36 months to complete, with 1,350 km2 of geosynthetics used in 2018, 1,800 km2 in 2019, and 300 km2 in 2020. The project was completed on time, with success leading to Solmax geomembranes being selected for related projects.
“We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Suez Canal Fish Farming and Aquaculture Company, supporting them in their effort to deliver excellence in this important project,” says Jackson.
Solmax is the world’s largest geosynthetics manufacturer with plants in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Used in critical applications in more than 60 countries by the biggest names in mining, petroleum, waste management, water, and civil engineering, our products contain and drain–creating a layer of protection between our most precious resource, the earth, and the waste and contaminants that result from human activity, industry, mining, and the use of fossil fuels. Our mission is to enable progress with minimal damage to the environment. Agile and innovation-led, Solmax aims to reshape the geosynthetics industry, applying digital technologies and state-of-the-art R&D expertise to deliver advanced solutions that are even more reliable, stronger, resistant to contaminants, and affordable, even in developing countries. Our message to our clients: Aim for the sky; we’ve got the ground covered. Visit us at www.solmax.com.