Four loading points removed from the Marshall dock

In the Petroleum dock in the Antwerp port area, DDM has removed four loading points.

The client needed the space for constructing new, safe quayside steps for skippers to moor. DDM came up with the plan of removing the loading points on the water side: from the Marshall dock, using a pontoon, equipped with a 200-ton crawler crane.

As far as permits are concerned, the Marshall dock is the most difficult dock for gaining access. It is in the heart of the petrochemical industry and is surrounded by refineries and chemical plants. Any entry must be requested weeks beforehand and is subject to the most stringent permits/measures, which are imposed by the three exploiters and the port authority (Port of Antwerp) together with the pilotage service.

The quays are under water, up to fifteen metres from the side, and fitted with asphalt mats. These are to protect the dock's draught and the screws of the ships. This meant that the spud poles for the pontoon had to be placed at least sixteen metres from the side. These spud poles are essential for keeping the pontoon stable while hoisting. Due to the Ex environment, we had to carry out all activities cold. We had calculated on a week of cold sawing for preparation per loading point. It was the intention to prepare the loading points like this so that we would be able to hoist all four away within one week.

When the hoisting week came around, everything was in such good order that we only needed one day per loading point for dismantling and disposing all material with the pontoon. This was an incredible result, which we could only have achieved thanks to the proper preparations and the commitment of all those concerned.

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