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
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.