LEADING INTERNATIONAL MARITIME MAGAZINE

Southeast Asia's Largest Concrete Floating Dry Dock Launched by Singapore Marine Engineering Company

Southeast Asia’s largest concrete floating dry dock has been launched by Singapore’s marine engineering company, GL Engineering & Construction Pte Ltd (GL E&C). Built in Batam, Indonesia with a local sub-contractor, the dry dock named ‘Peleke Nui’ has been specially commissioned by an American company, Marisco Limited. Costed at USD $12 million, the dry dock will be used for the construction, maintenance as well as repair of ships and naval crafts, serving international clients from the owner’s base in Hawaii, the United States of America.

According to Mr Lim Sing Tian, Managing Director of GL Engineering & Construction Pte Ltd, “we had to explore out-of-the-box engineering perspectives whilst taking on unique technological as well as manpower capabilities to meet the design specifications and owner’s requirements for this project.  As this was our first overseas project and the biggest yet under GL E&C’s new construction of floating pontoon / structure service portfolio, we are honoured to have been entrusted with a project of this scale and proud to have delivered a landmark high quality construction.”

The dry dock owner from Hawaii, Marisco Limited is a premier marine and industrial services company that serves the governmental, military, commercial marine and industrial sectors globally. Mr Alfred Anawati, President and Founder of Marisco said that “the new concrete floating dry dock will be the biggest yet for the state of Hawaii and will serve Marisco’s expanding international businesses with possible future projects for commercial clients in Asia and worldwide. Given the high demand for ship repair works, we have already received orders for the dry dock use even while it was still under construction.” This concrete dry dock will also be the largest amongst the current fleet of different steel and second-hand dry docks that Marisco owned.

Designed for durability of 200 years, the newest dry dock in the market has recorded an engineering breakthrough in the adoption of high quality concrete for marine construction. Floating concrete structures are far more durable and economical if lifetime cost analysis is considered. Due to their heavy weight, the concrete structures are far more stable for operation and offer better weather resistance as compared to steel structures which are typically designed for 20 years design life and require regular costly maintenance.

GL E&C's team believes that currently there are approximately less than 10 of such newly constructed concrete-based dry dock around the world. Made using high strength Grade 85 concrete, the completed structure is a hybrid concrete pontoon and steel wing wall. At a height of 15 metres, the dry dock measures 138 metres long and 46 metres wide with clear working space of 36 metres between wing walls. Weighing 15,000 tonnes, the dry dock is designed to lift ships up to 9500 tonnes and can repair 2 to 3 ships concurrently depending on its size.

Supported by over 500 local manpower and an international team of designers, consultants and engineering experts, the construction for the dry dock spanned over 13 months since starting in March 2016. The construction process stretched from constructing the concrete base slab formwork, installing the concrete silos to form the honeycomb system interior, concrete topping and post-tensioning, installation of steel wing walls until pre-launched finishing. After the completion of the structure, 120 air bags were laid to uplift the structure for the eventual sea launch.  The dry dock is currently on its way to Hawaii on a heavy lift carrier and is expected to reach Hawaii by end-May 2017. 

With the successful completion of the concrete floating dry dock, GL E&C will focus on more customized marine construction and design projects that meet the region’s and international marine engineering needs. Mr Raymond Gan, GL E&C’s Executive Director highlighted that, “as a SME (small-medium size enterprise) in the globally competitive marine engineering industry, GL E&C has a lot to grow. This dry dock project has allowed GL E&C to augment our services into large size and top quality marine engineering construction segments. Our skill capacities have been strengthened for bigger projects with local and overseas partners to deliver industry-edge projects internationally.” In the coming future, GL E&C will earmark building more innovative marine structures and provide cost effective engineering solutions to its clients as they expand into other foreign markets. The company is also set to take on full scope of marine services for new development or refurbished design and construction works for prospective clients’ existing developments.