Maritime engineering specialist Intermarine UK has completed its latest project to construct a floating platform for the British Royal Navy.
The Dorset-based company has built a 24×12 metre pontoon that will be moored to the stern of either HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH or HMS PRINCE OF WALES when anchored in Portsmouth, allowing crew and passengers to board and disembark at the rear of the ship.
Intermarine UK, part of Polish-owned Inter Marine Group, opened a 2,000sqm fabrication and welding facility at Portland Port on England’s south coast at the start of 2018. Over the past year it has spent in excess of £500,000 equipping the site with state-of-the-art machinery.
Mark Bowden, Intermarine UK production manager, said: “This project for the Royal Navy has made excellent use of the production base we’ve created at Portland Port.
“All the equipment we’ve installed in the workshop has been used to produce this pontoon, from the hydraulic rolling machine to the CNC press brake. Our CNC plasma cutting machine is ideal for any steel project and on this occasion, it enabled us to cut out all the panels required for the pontoon. It removed the need to mark the panels by hand, cut them and then dress them, speeding up the whole process and increasing productivity.
“It’s a perfect example of the investment we’ve made in our facility at Portland Port bearing fruit.”
The pontoon was built in four sections over a period of two-and-a-half months. Each part was then bolted together to create a floating platform with a lightship displacement of 86 tonnes. The bolted I-section framework in the middle of the pontoon carries a soft patch deck area of approximately 16×6 metres. The completed platform was then delivered to Portsmouth.
Prior to establishing its production facility, Intermarine UK played a central role in the assembly of Britain’s two new aircraft carriers. As part of a four-and-a-half year project employing 500 people, the company was tasked with aligning and joining up sections of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and HMS PRINCE OF WALES. Each of the ships’ modules comprised 16 decks and weighed hundreds of tonnes, making it a huge undertaking requiring considerable skill and precision.
Since opening its Portland Port workshop, Intermarine UK has been able to provide an extensive range of engineering and fabrication services to the UK’s ship repair, refit, conversion and shipbuilding markets. The firm is also diversifying into other industries, including the energy sector and renewables, in an effort to make best use of its specialist skills and production capabilities.
Notes to editors
PORTLAND PORT FACTFILE
- Portland is a thriving commercial port located in Dorset on the UK’s south coast.
- Portland Port operated as a base for the Royal Navy for nearly 150 years from the mid 19th century through to 1996 when Portland Port was then privatised and taken over by the Langham Group. Portland Harbour Authority later took over as the statutory harbour authority in 1998.
- Since then the harbour has developed into a thriving commercial port, that handles cruise ships, cargos, bunker vessels and also maintains a strong relationship with the Royal Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
- Under the umbrella of the Portland Port Group are two separate entities: Portland Port Ltd and Portland Harbour Authority Ltd
- The port and its tenants are now a major employer within the local economy.
- The port’s close proximity to the English Channel shipping lanes provides an ideal location for vessels both in terms of distance and travel time.
- The harbour is well protected from the south and south westerly winds, as it shelters behind the Isle of Portland and Chesil Beach, and is circled by an extensive breakwater system which protects it from adverse easterly weather conditions.
- Portland Port offers a safe, sheltered and deep harbour which makes it a superb choice for all vessels, from small yachts to some of the largest cruise ships in the world.
- Due to its geographical location, it allows fast, safe access 24 hours a day. The port has a strong reputation as the south coast’s “premier service station”, where vessels are able to undertake a wide range of services; ownership/management/name change surveys, classification surveys, stores and crew transfers, as well as a wealth of underwater operations.
- A dock estate of nearly 200 hectares and a marine jurisdiction stretching over 2400 hectares
- Over 2000 metres of alongside berths
- 6 metres (C.D) depth of water at the deepest alongside berth
- 6 designated anchorages in the outer harbour with depths at anchorage of up to 20 metres (C.D)
- 9 designated anchorages within the inner harbour with depths at anchorage of up to 15 metres (C.D)
- Very little beam and draft restriction with width at harbour entrance at 210 metres and depth at 12.4 metres (C.D)
- Pilotage and towage available 24/7