Easy, safe block recovery.

The need to carry out jobs entrusted to us at the highest quality and safety levels means that SATO has always analyzed any construction challenge given to us from the technical point of view.

Thanks to this way of working, SATO has developed an innovative method of removing dikes that opens up great possibilities for managing materials and design of port surface


Maritime projects, due to the complexity of the medium and the difficulty to work in it, tend towards simplification. So, dike construction tends to consist of tipping materials into the sea, with more careful placement of protective elements. When operating or protection needs require new developments and dikes, the old ones are buried under the new esplanades. This conditions planning for extensions and represents a loss of materials (protective blocks and breakwaters) which is increasingly difficult to get hold of due to environmental restrictions. Only fine materials and light breakwaters could be removed by dredging and reusing blocks if there were few units and their position was known, as happens on docks.

In 2000, SATO was adjudicated the job to Extend the Muelle de Minerales in the Port of Gijon, where the Port Authority required the extension of this dock by removing and rebuilding the outer sea wall that closes it off to the east. This sea wall is built out of 90 T blocks, whose number (3,500 units) and location (up to 18 m down) made traditional methods infeasible.


To meet the challenge of removing the harbor wall at the right cost, SATO studied and perfected a concrete block recovery clamp. The effectiveness variation by geometry, tool weight and dimensions, were analyzed in detail, optimizing its weight in later stages to make it easier to handle.

This recovery procedure allows the process to be industrialized, avoids risks inherent to using divers in dangerous tasks next to balanced blocks, improving performance with full guarantees.

The success of its use on the job that led to depositing the SATOGRAB® patent, and subsequent use in other projects with improved versions, make it clear that SATO backing technology in maritime projects has given excellent results and opens up great perspectives in maritime engineering.

SATO has its own block recovery clamps available to recover parallelepiped blocks between 10 and 90 T, using its own means or with loan or rent agreements depending on their clients’ needs.

The following documentation illustrates the development of the block recovery clamp and all its technical aspects.