Member Login Menu

Spotlight on Mott MacDonald

Friday, July 22, 2016

Isla Melones Mott MacDonald The world's ports are at the heart of a dynamic and interdependent network of global trade and freight transportation.

Managing their challenges effectively requires a comprehensive and innovative approach to problem-solving.

Mott MacDonald  has been fortunate to work on major port infrastructure projects across North America and around the world.

Mott MacDonald's port capabilities address all aspects of container, roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) and cruise terminals, commodity bulk and breakbulk facilities, and small craft harbor projects.

Profiting from a bigger Panama Canal

Terminals for the handling of fuels and other liquid bulk require sophisticated design and construction, often including advanced visualization.

As the volume of shipping through the Panama Canal continues to increase, the need for bunkering fuel grows with it. About eight nautical miles from the Pacific end of the canal, the Isla Melones was identified as a promising location for a marine fuel terminal

Mott MacDonald provided a conceptual engineering design for the creation of an efficient, cost-effective, and constructible marine terminal on the island. We analyzed local currents, winds, and wave heights under normal conditions and during storms, then developed  alternative layouts and design-build criteria for bidding. 

The Isla Melones marine terminal now offers tanks with a storage capacity of more than 2 million barrels. A T-shaped pier allows up to four barges, or one tanker and two barges, to load simultaneously. The terminal has achieved outstanding loading rates of up to 17,500 barrels per hour for vessels and 3,500 barrels per hour for barges.

To find out how we can help ensure the success of your port project, please contact our Ports Practice Leader at or 800.832.3272.