The load-out operation, or transportation by barge of the 899 tonnes steel block (Block 10) which forms the stern section of the RRS Sir David Attenborough, has started.
The transport of Block 10 from Hebburn-based shipyard A&P Tyne (Newcastle) to the Cammell Laird’s shipyard in Birkenhead is a major engineering challenge and a significant milestone in the building. ALE will be responsible for loading it onto a barge, and will use self-propelled modular trailers wherein hydraulic ballast pumps will be used to keep the barge level while the heavy load moves onto it from the slipway. Specially designed sea-fastenings by ALE will secure the block during its transit to Cammell Laird which may take up to five days.
Upon arrival at the Birkenhead yard, ALE will use the same SPMT configuration to perform the load-in process, after which work will begin on joining Block 10 to its neighbouring blocks under construction in Cammell Laird’s construction hall.
John Syvret CBE, CEO of both Cammell Laird and A&P Group, said, “What we are doing in fact is providing proof of concept, of the strategy outlined in Sir John Parkers National Shipbuilding Strategy report commissioned by the UK Government. By investing in UK shipyards, and encouraging shipyards to work together, the UK can dramatically ramp up the number of ships it builds, converts and repairs, for the commercial and naval sectors at home and abroad.”