Up, Up And Away As 18 Million Litres Of Water Lifts Concrete Pontoon Into The Tyne And Off To £25m Humberside Development.

Tue, 21 May 2013


A HUGE re-enforced concrete pontoon, weighing almost 7000 tonnes, has floated out of dry dock on the north bank of the Tyne, marking a major milestone in a £25 million Humberside port development.

Almost 18 million litres of water was pumped into the dock at Shepherd Offshore’s Neptune Energy Park to successfully float the structure, measuring 80 metres long, 30 metres wide and 5.6 metres deep, so it could be towed by tugs from the Tyne down to Grimsby to take its place in a new roll-on, roll-off terminal.

Graham Construction won the contract from Associated British Ports to design and build the new terminal on the River Humber at the Port of Grimsby. It will be used mainly for the importation of cars from mainland Europe.

The company then entered into an agreement with Shepherd Offshore to use their dock at Wallsend to build the floating pontoon.

The dry dock, which is 217 metres long, 32 metres wide and 11 metres deep, offers one of the largest secure test and demonstration facilities in Europe, with on-site heavy lift cranes, hard standing areas and covered storage areas.

It can be flooded within several hours and is next to a newly created 700 ton quayside load-out pad.

It was recently used as a construction base for the water-tight concrete sections of the new Tyne Tunnel, which were built in dock before being floated down the river and sunk into position.

Stewart Boak, General Manager at Neptune Energy Park, said: “It is a great facility, which is contributing to the rebirth of business activity along the river.

“The Graham Construction project worked well and Shepherd Offshore is keen to promote this type of relationship, which has been very successful on all the schemes completed to date.

“We welcome the opportunity to talk with companies who are interested in using the dry dock as a manufacturing facility, underwater or simulated seabed test facility.

“It is only one part of a major ongoing development at Neptune Energy Park,

which includes two new purpose-built manufacturing facilities, significant load bearing concrete laydown and working areas and a 700 tonne heavy lift pad load-out facility.”

Gareth McLaverty of Graham Construction said the float-out of the pontoon was a “significant milestone” in the Grimsby Riverside Terminal project.

He added that when the pontoon arrived on Humberside it would be secured in position and once in operation, vessels would moor either side of the Finger Pier at Grimsby River Terminal and berth, stern on to the pontoon.



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