VolkerStevin is underway with the upgrade work to improve defence infrastructure of berths at Mare Harbour. The £19 million contract forms part of work planned by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation over the next decade, to modernise the local military infrastructure and capabilities for the Islands.
The work at Mare Harbour includes the design and construction of new berths, which will provide a facility suitable to cater for the larger POINT Class ships, with roll-on roll-off (RoRo) capability for the Falkland Islands Resupply Ship (FIRS). The FIRS delivers military supplies to the islands throughout the year, including hardware, food and infrastructure, as well as a small amount of commercial freight.
Earlier in the year all the materials, plant and equipment for the project were loaded onto a chartered vessel at Rotterdam prior to embarking on a five-week journey to the Falkland Islands. The piles, fabricated steel pile heads and fenders were shipped direct from Shanghai to the Falkland Islands. All items shipped had to be checked thoroughly by the project team in order to meet the Islands strict biosecurity requirements.
The piles for the main RoRo berth are being installed and grouted into drilled rock sockets which are three metre diameter, and up to 20 metres deep. The piles are 35 metres long and weigh up to 75 tonnes, with 14 of the 16 piles now installed. Part of the work includes new walkway bridges between the existing caissons that have been installed. Following completion of the piles, we will be installing the pile heads, remaining walkway bridges and the fenders before commencing works to dismantle the marine plant for loading onto a chartered vessel for the return to Europe.
Rob Coupe, managing director at VolkerStevin, said: “The project is logistically challenging and transporting thousands of tons of materials and equipment to the other side of the world is no simple task. After several months of detailed planning, we are pleased construction is now well underway and due to complete on time.”
The project is on target for completion prior to the contract completion date of December 2017.