Strategic Marine Delivers Base for 'World's Most Advanced' Dry Dock

Western Australian shipbuilder Strategic Marine has delivered the base pontoon of the world's most technologically advanced floating dry dock to the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) at Henderson, south of Perth.

The dock's 4,400 tonne steel base was delivered last Thursday, December 4, after Strategic Marine's Vietnamese facility at Dong Xuyen Industrial Zone had completed construction of the 99m long and 53m wide steel structure, launching it on November 18.

The dock base was then lifted aboard the Dockwise submersible vessel MV Teal for its 16-day journey to the AMC's Common User (CUP) facility at Henderson, with the Teal submerging to float off the structure before it was towed into the facility by three tugs.

Once the AUD$63million dock is handed over to the AMC next July, it will achieve a global "first" with a newly developed digital memory to give it a fully automated capability.

Developed by Californian company IDAC West, this smart technology will allow the AMC to bid for a range of major construction and repair projects across the marine, defence and resources sectors, which is expected to inject billions of dollars into the WA economy over the next 25 years.

A project team of over 20 technicians, engineers and contractors at Strategic Marine's yard at Henderson has already prepared most of the 840 tonnes of superstructure to be fitted onto the dock's base at the AMC.

Project Manager Kalevi Savolainen said his team had two months to install the superstructure – the touchscreen computer equipment, generators, fuel tanks, topsides, side walls and cranes.

"After that, we have about four months to ensure that all of the machinery functions properly and that the computer system works perfectly," said Savolainen.

"We will have one month to get the dock fully functioning before handover in July next year, so the last month will be spent practicing, driving it up and down and moving it about the place," he said.

"We're on schedule, and that is the highest priority," he said.