NSW Ports has installed a new gangway tower at Port Botany’s Bulk Liquid Berth 1 (BLB1).

On 12 March 2018, the new gangway was used for the first time on a gas tanker ship for cargo operations, following a three-week shipping shutdown in February 2018 to allow for installation.

“The gangway tower will ensure safe access to both large and small ships, and improve berth efficiency by reducing berth occupancy time by over 30 minutes for each ship calling at Bulk Liquid Berth 1. New infrastructure like this gangway increases the capacity of the berth, allowing NSW Ports to facilitate the handling of larger ships in line with our 30 Year Masterplan,” NSW Ports General Manager Operations and Environment,  Jonathan Lafforgue said.

“The Navigator Phoenix gas ship, which was loaded from Perth, was the first ship to use the new tower on Monday evening.”

The gangway project has been a two-year long endeavour from project concept to installation and commissioning.

The gangway was manufactured by Verhoef Access Technologies, a Dutch manufacturing company based near Amsterdam.

Once manufactured, installed and tested at the factory, the gangway was dismantled into modules and shipped to Port Botany in five by 40′ open top containers.

The gangway tower features a 22m high carbon steel column section, with lightweight marine grade aluminium stairways and gangway telescoping ladder with self-levelling stairs to reduce weight and loads.

The BLB1 gangway uses a 180-degree swivel rotatable stair ladder to the ship’s deck, to maximise flexibility with the large variety of ships that regularly call at BLB1.

The gangway has a very large operational capability, with 90° degree slewing range (+45° and -45°).

This means that the gangway can move horizontally and at an angle to give it flexibility and suit ships with freeboard as low as 1.8m such as a small bunker barge or small capacity gas ship, all the way through to freeboards as high as 18.7m such as a Long Range 2 (LR2) sized tanker ship or a Very Large Gas Ship (VLGC).

The gangway’s entire electrical and control system has been designed and certified for safe use in classified hazardous (flammable) atmospheres that occur at the BLBs. The fire monitor (cannon), part of the firefighting system, will continue to be available for infrastructure and personnel protection as required for berth operations.

Other features include lightning protection; personnel protection sprinkler systems; Chartec structural fire protection; hazardous area certified LED floodlights; hazardous area CCTV cameras; and two infrared flame detectors.

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