February 19 - In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Mammoet saved a mosque from demolition in a complex relocation using its jacking and skidding systems.


Nesma Trading was contracted by the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) to build and expand five hospitals. In one of the areas earmarked for expansion was a beautiful mosque. The owner's original instructions were to demolish the mosque to clear the construction area, and build an identical mosque at a new location so prayers could continue. This process would take ten months.

However, Mammoet proposed a faster and more sustainable alternative Instead of demolishing and reconstructing it, Mammoet proposed to jack up and slide the entire 2,400-tonne mosque to the new location. This would keep the delicate mosque intact, allowing visitors to continue their prayers undisturbed and maintaining a peaceful environment for the hospital patients. This operation would only take three months including preparations, thus saving seven months construction time.

Mammoet provided Nesma with all the necessary civil engineering plans, as well as the complete engineering plan including drawings, method statements and risk analysis. The owner's project management office welcomed the idea and after a careful study of the plans it was approved. This was the first time in Saudi Arabia that an entire building was to be moved to a different location, claimed Mammoet.

The operation was engineered by Mammoet and subcontractor Techniek en Methode (part of the Bresser Group) to ensure the safety and the integrity of the mosque.

The operation started with the removal of the minaret with a hydraulic crane. Then, the ground under the mosque was removed and replaced by a concrete base that could support the entire structure.

Mammoet supplied and installed all the required equipment for skidding, including skid shoes, push/pull units, skid tracks and power packs. Finally, Mammoet skidded the 2400-ton mosque in its entirety, in less than 48 hours, over a distance of 120 meters to its new location.

A video of how the project was prepared can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq37tH7hLZs