£5 million investment to strengthen Port of Grimsby’s position as hub for offshore wind

September 29, 2014

A £5 million investment in a new lock system at Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Grimsby will make its Royal Dock more attractive to energy companies looking to base their offshore wind operations and maintenance activities at the port.

The project forms part of an agreement between ABP and DONG Energy, which is building facilities for its own operations and maintenance base at the port, alongside other energy companies including E.On, Centrica and Siemens. 

The lock leading to the port’s Royal Dock has seen both inner and outer lock gates replaced, as well as extensive repairs to the cills that the gates abut. 

ABP Supervising Engineer Dave Good explained why the gates needed to be replaced.

He said: “The existing lock gates were semi buoyant and as such can only work for six hours around high tide. This gives us an operations window of around 12 hours in every 24.

“The new gates are of a single-skin construction and are non-buoyant, with much stiffer anchorages so we can work for almost 24 hours.

“This will allow our newer customers – the energy companies who run their operations and maintenance (O&M) activities from Grimsby, to work regular day shifts, rather than having to work around high tide, which could be any time of the day or night.”

ABP Port Manager Grimsby & Immingham Mike Sellers said: "This is about making the dock more accessible, becoming a 24-hour port rather than being tidally restricted.

"We want to attract more of this business to Grimsby. It is now a major hub for operations and maintenance businesses in the offshore wind industry, and this is another example of ABP investing to grow the port."

DONG Energy’s Jason Ledden agrees: “The flexibility allowed by the new system will give us unrestricted access to the dock. This means we can work smarter and more efficiently to service our wind farms from Grimsby for the next 25 years.”

The old gates weigh 70 tonnes each and were last replaced in 1982. The replacement gates measure 12m by 9m and each weigh 72 tonnes. Designed and constructed by Dutch contractor Ravestein, they were craned into place after work to repair the damaged cills had been completed.

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