Key Projects
New dock to float WA economy Print

August 1, 2009

A new floating dry dock commissioned by Western Australia’s land and infrastructure developer, LandCorp, is to become operational at the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) at Henderson, 23 kilometres south of Perth, in late 2009 and is expected to inject billions into the state’s economy.

Built by WA shipbuilder Strategic Marine, the floating dock features the latest technology including a newly developed digital memory to give it a fully automated capability.

Strategic Marine’s Marketing Manager Jamie Anderson said the 99 metre long floating dock utilises a ballast system where ballast compartments throughout the dock are filled with water, or ballast, causing it to sink 15.7 metres below the water level.

“The vessel can then be gently guided onto the dock and the ballast removed to lift the vessel out of the water. Unlike some other dry dock facilities, the ballast system is fully automated,” Jamie said.

Fantech’s WA branch Systemaire, supplied 12, 560mm adjustable pitch axial flow fans to pump air into the pontoons. The increasing air pressure evacuates the water from the ballast tanks and the increased buoyancy causes the dock to rise.

Systemaire sales manager Andrew Twisse said the axial fans had to be efficient with enough scope to increase pressure if they needed it.

Jamie said the floating dock could lift a 12,000 tonne vessel out of the water for service and maintenance, and is unique in its ability to provide the land transfer of vessels up to 3,500t.

“The computer system also controls the manoeuvring systems for berthing the dock and transferring the vessel onto land with the assistance of a 129 axle-line Self Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT).”

The floating dock will be located in the AMC Common User Facility where it will add to the extensive range of state-provided infrastructure available for use by any organisation with suitable project needs. The floating dock will be used for repairs and maintenance of Australian naval vessels such as the Collins class submarines and Anzac frigates; commercial ship repairs; servicing the super yacht industry; and testing sub-sea oil and gas components and will allow a range of major new projects to be conducted within Australia.

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