Svitzer Leven – A neat solution for waste disposal

Svitzer Leven is designed to take onboard waste products from ship in Middlesborough and Hartlepool
Svitzer Leven is designed to take onboard waste products from ship in Middlesborough and Hartlepool
The Doonsan main engines and gearbox in a compact unit secured on flexible mounts
The Doonsan main engines and gearbox in a compact unit secured on flexible mounts
A John Deere powered alternator supplies the crane powerpack, the waste compaction equipment and various other onboard services
A John Deere powered alternator supplies the crane powerpack, the waste compaction equipment and various other onboard services
All of the major controls and instruments are located at the control position, including the Raymarine multipurpose display
All of the major controls and instruments are located at the control position, including the Raymarine multipurpose display

Svitzer, a major provider of towage and marine services, took delivery of the latest addition to its UK fleet on 6 February.

Completed by Southampton Marine Services Ltd (SMS) at Ocean Quay and named Svitzer Leven,  this new vessel is described as a Motorised Waste Barge. A closer examination reveals a neat solution for the collection and recycling of waste from ships, a service Svitzer carries out in the ports of Middlesborough, Hartlepool and Milford Haven.

The vessel was constructed to a design commisioned by SMS from naval architects A G Salmon & Company Ltd for a twin screw, pontoon style, shallow draft work vessel. Similar in appearance to many ‘multi-purpose’ craft of that configuration, Svitzer Leven incorporates a number of unique features that are required specifically for its intended employment. In the words of Mr Robert Gray, the managing director of SMS, “This is a robust design that we could adapt and build to suit a wide range of applications.”

Svitzer Leven measures 20.45m in length overall with a breadth (moulded) of 7.50m, a depth of 2.00m and draft (aft) of 1.4m. Construction and outfitting complies with the MCA Workboat Code of Practice. The hull is rectangular in planform with a unique bow configuration that sets this vessel apart from similar pontoon style craft. Incorporated in the bow is a large horizontal cylindrical structure, faired into the hull above deck level, with steelwork of a standard that is a credit to the skills of SMS.

Attached to that bow structure is an array of vehicle and aircraft tyres, secured with webbing, to form a substantial full width fender. This feature enables the vessel to lie alongside a ship, bow first, using the engines to keep station while refuse skips are taken onboard. The shape and position of the fendering is designed to enable the vessel to go safely alongside ships having a pronounced flare, at bow or stern, and remain in position.

With the exception of a small superstructure and wheelhouse on the portside aft, along with a deck crane, the large clear deck space is used to accept about a dozen waste ‘skips’ and a quantity of pallets. In addition, the vessel will be equipped with one electrically powered compactor and a ‘drum crusher’ to deal with the various types of waste once it has been sorted.

A vital piece of equipment aboard Svitzer Leven is the powerful ACB - BS300 hydraulically operated, knuckle-boom crane, located forward of the superstructure. The crane is rated at 30 tonnes/m and equipped with a four extension telescopic jib, giving it a maximum reach of 11.8m. Hydraulic power for the crane is supplied by an electrically driven powerpack located below deck. The crane must be capable of lifting waste skips on and off ships, moving waste around on deck and putting it ashore.

In service Svitzer Leven is much more than a floating refuse truck. Once waste materials have been taken onboard, the contents of the skips is sorted by the crew and segregated, with recyclable products such as cardboard, timber, paper and metal drums. Those products are compressed and banded in the compactor or, in the case of metal drums, crushed. This process allows non-recyclable waste to be disposed of ashore, and the remaining products recycled.  

Svitzer Leven is powered by a pair of Doosan MD196TI diesel main engines, each developing 320 bhp/235kW at 2,000 rpm. The 6 cylinder, 11 litre, turbocharged engines are cooled via heat exchangers and have 24V electric starting and charging. Power is transmitted to the propeller shafts via D-I Industries DMT140H hydraulic reversing gearboxes with a 3.46:1 reduction ratio, delivering the same torque going ahead and astern.  The engine/gearboxes are secured on flexible mounts and coupled to the tailshafts via flexible couplings.

WaterMota Ltd supplied most of the machinery in the engineroom, including the main engines, transmission, steering system and generating set.

The 36” diameter, four blade propellers and stern gear were supplied by BT Marine Ltd. Steering gear for the twin rudder installation comprises a D-I Industries DPS-651 TW hydraulic power steering system, hydraulic pump, helm wheel and angle sensor for an auto pilot.

Electrical power onboard the vessel is supplied by a single John Deere diesel powered auxiliary generator incorporating a Mecc Alte alternator rated at 60kva/48 kW, 230/414 volts, three-phase, 50 hz at 1,500 rpm. The generator set was assembled by WaterMota and mounted on bedplate with flexible mountings to a marine specification.

Dedicated tanks are provided for 6,500 litres of fuel oil, 1000 litres of fresh water and 1000 litres of black water.

On trials Svitzer Leven was found to be an extremely manoeuvrable vessel with an average speed of approximately 9.5 knots.  

The wheelhouse and superstructure is designed for ‘day-boat’ operation with a small crew. In the superstructure at deck level is located the main enginroom access, a stairway to the wheelhouse above and a small galley with sufficient facilities for this type of operation. The aft end of the wheelhouse has seating and a table for up to four persons. SMS has fitted out the interior to a very high standard, using white lining board, with polished hardwood trim and attractive wood flooring.

The control console, located in the forward starboard side of the wheelhouse, contains all of the usual controls and instrumentation normally found in a small twin screw vessel. An outfit of navigational and communications equipment supplied by Greenham-Regis Marine Electronics includes a Raymarine c127-12 inch multipurpose display capable of displaying radar, charting, echosounder, AIS and compass information in a convenient form. An Icom IC-M323 radio is fitted for VHF communications.

By Jack Gaston

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