In the Portuguese Alentejo region substantial investments are being made, with European funds, to optimise the irrigation of 120,000 hectares of land through the Enterprise for the Development and Infrastructures of Alqueva (EDIA in the Portuguese acronym).
Of the nine projects whose contracts have been awarded to Ferrovial Agroman, work has been undertaken in 2015 on five of them, with two having become operational during the first six months of the year: the Caliços-Pias Hydraulic Circuit and the Cinco Reis/Trindade Hydraulic Block.
The inauguration of the latter was attended by the Portuguese Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Assunção Cristas; the Chairman of EDIA, José Pedro Salema, and the Director of the Secondary Network, Isabel Grazina, on 29 April.
This new infrastructure, which has been carried out by Ferrovial Agroman, will serve 5,300 hectares of farming land in the Beja area, through 58 irrigation channels across three irrigation blocks called Cinco Reis, Chancuda and Trindade.
The infrastructure that has been inaugurated operates across 42km of piping, of which 10km are concrete pipes with metal sleeves (DN 2500 to 1000), 18km are FFD pipes (DN 900 to 600) and 14km are PEAD pipes (DN 500 to 180). In addition to these works, the project included the construction of a filtering station (with two filters, but prepared to house a total of four units), and the building of 25km of paved roads 4m wide.
With regard to the other project which has become operational in 2015, the Caliços-Pias Hydraulic Circuit, this will serve an irrigation area measuring 4,600 hectares.
This job consisted in constructing a land embankment 20m high and 500m long. The crested embankment, measuring 9.5m wide, will house the EN255 which was affected by the construction of this infrastructure.
Apart from the construction of the embankment, this contract included fitting a 7km conduit of concrete piping with metal sleeves with a diameter of 1800 to 1200mm.
At the same time, Ferrovial Agroman is carrying out three projects (the Beringel-Alamo Irrigation Block, the Moura Gravítico Irrigation Block and the São Matias Hydraulic Circuit), for the same Client.