Innovative dry dock with inflatable buoyancy

The hull and lower decks of the Australian Antarctic Division’s (AAD) new icebreaker Nuyina were constructed in the dry dock at Damen’s Galati Shipyard Photo: Seaflex The hull and lower decks of the Australian Antarctic Division’s (AAD) new icebreaker Nuyina were constructed in the dry dock at Damen’s Galati Shipyard Photo: Seaflex

Unique Group’s Buoyancy & Ballast division has recently facilitated a high-profile dry dock project in Romania, involving the supply and operation of 840t of Seaflex inflatable buoyancy.

The hull and lower decks of the Australian Antarctic Division’s (AAD) new icebreaker Nuyina were constructed in the dry dock at Damen’s Galati Shipyard.

“Our Buoyancy & Ballast division is truly unique within the market and we consistently bring added value to our clients, working in partnership,” said Chris Sparrow, global sales manager, Buoyancy & Ballast at Unique Group.

“We get right up to speed early on in a project during the initial engineering phase and give technical assistance to clients without cost or commitment at that point.  We are then able to offer clients the option of renting or purchasing equipment, according to their preference and business needs.”

Next steps

Detailed engineering discussions took place over 18 months ahead of the work to determine the sizing, positioning and securing of the buoyancy units to the hull, so as to ensure sufficient clearance between the sill of the dry dock and the keel of the vessel when the dry dock was flooded.

42 x 20t Seaflex Inflatable Buoyancy Units and a system of hoses and manifolds were supplied to Damen on a rental basis, and two Seaflex technicians were deployed to offer on-site support throughout the two-week operation which took place during the early autumn of 2018.

For the next phase of construction, the installation of the upper decks, to take place the dry dock needed to be flooded and the hull then towed to the wet dock.

By Anne-Marie Causer

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