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Guernsey Port Refurbishment Nears Completion

by Jason Gorringe,, London

15 October 2012

The Guernsey government has reported that it is nearing the completion of construction work to modernize the lift-on, lift-off (LoLo) crane facilities at Saint Peter Port Harbour.

The work is part of a GBP13.75m (USD22m) project to modernize the harbour's freight handling facilities, which will involve the replacement of four of five cranes at the port dating back to 1965 and 1972. The berth structures they are located on have to be refurbished and repaired before the new units are installed, and the government has confirmed that these preparations are nearing completion.

New steel-lined, reinforced concrete piles have been installed, to support the new structure and provide the required load bearing strength for the mobile cranes. That operation involved drilling through the existing jetty into the bedrock beneath the berth. The steel reinforcement on the first section of the replacement deck was recently completed, and concrete has now been poured over this. The final section will be completed before the end of this month, after which the new concrete will be left for several weeks before it achieves its final strength.

Early next year the manufacturer of the new cranes will start to dismantle the two existing ones currently located on this berth, before delivering the first of the replacements.

Deputy Harbourmaster Tony Pattimore said the contractor had made good progress: "Everything is progressing according to plan. At the operational level maintaining essential harbour activities while large sections of the existing facilities are effectively out of commission presents a number of challenges. However from a technical perspective, we have not encountered any major problems."

The project also involves repairs on the other two freight berths, where corrosion has occurred to their undersides, supporting beams and columns. The refurbished structures will then have a design life of at least 50 years, while the cranes are expected to last at least 25 years.

On average around 50,000 tonnes of freight are handled using LoLo cranes each year, which is approximately a quarter of all goods arriving at and leaving St Peter Port Harbour.

Most freight is pre-loaded on trailers - with or without a truck unit - and driven on and off vessels via one of the two Roll-on, Roll-off (RoRo) ramps at St Peter Port Harbour. This typically includes ‘time-critical’ goods, such as food, which have to be ready for immediate onward transport.

TAGS: marine

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