Maritime engineering company Intermarine UK has been selected to take part in a major infrastructure project designed to increase capacity at Portland Port in Dorset.
The firm operates a 2,400sqm fabrication and welding facility at the port on England’s south coast, which it opened in 2018 following a £750,000 investment. Acting as a subcontractor for project lead CMP Thames Ltd, Intermarine UK has been tasked with fabricating a number of steel structures that will extend the mooring capacity of Queen’s Pier by 40 metres in order to accommodate the growing number of vessels visiting the port.
A change in the nature of shipping at Portland Port has driven significant infrastructure investment over recent years. The port’s cruise business is continuing to grow, while cargo customers have also seen an increase in activity. Work to further extend Queen’s Pier is the latest project designed to support the site’s continued growth.
Intermarine UK’s steel fabrications will form part of a new mooring dolphin at the end of the pier that will create a facility for berthing vessels up to 230 metres long with drafts up to 10.5 metres.
Mark Bowden, Intermarine UK production manager (pictured above), said the company has fabricated a 35-tonne carousel for the mooring dolphin.
“A steel pile has been driven into the seabed and we’ve created a pipework carousel, a steel frame, that sits on top,” he said. “Six other piles will be driven through this frame before pre-cast concrete sections and a concrete base are added by CMP Thames to complete the mooring platform.
“In addition, we’ve completed a 40-metre walkway that connects to the existing extension so you can walk out to the dolphin and take in ropes from a ship when it berths. The final stage will see us fabricate two steel fenders for either side of the dolphin. These will hold large rubber fenders that ships can rest against.”
The steel carousel was built in two sections so it could be moved out of the workshop on a low-loader trailer before assembly. As Intermarine UK is based at Portland Port, there was no need to transport the structures by road and carry out modular assembly on site, reducing the overall cost of the project.
Mr Bowden said the walkway is now ready to be painted and installed, while the platform’s fenders are due to be completed soon.
He added: “This is an important infrastructure project that will increase capacity and flexibility at the port. The dolphin will not only allow more ships to be moored alongside Queen’s Pier, but also larger ships. We’re proud to have played a part in this project, and been able to use our facilities and the skills of our workforce to improve Portland Port’s facilities and support future growth.”
Since establishing a production base at Portland Port in 2018, Intermarine UK has spent in excess of £750,000 equipping the site with state-of-the-art machinery. This investment has allowed the company to expand the range of engineering and fabrication services it offers to the UK’s ship repair, refit, conversion and shipbuilding markets.
The firm played a central role in the assembly of Britain’s two new aircraft carriers, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and HMS PRINCE OF WALES, and recently completed construction of a floating platform for the British Royal Navy that will allow crew and passengers to board and disembark from the rear of these ships. In 2018, Intermarine UK signed a six-figure contract with Merseyside shipyard Cammell Laird to fabricate more than ten tons of piping systems for the RRS Sir David Attenborough polar ship, Britain’s biggest commercial ship building project in more than 30 years.
In June Intermarine UK announced it had struck a new agreement with Chinese manufacturer Shandong Pure Ocean Technology to make the Port of Portland one of the UK’s centres for ‘scrubber’ installation. Acting as an agent to Shandong, it will offer to install its scrubber systems to a wide variety of vessels including container ships, ferries and fishing boats, to help them meet tough new environmental regulations.
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