Exeter fabricator steps up for VolkerStevin

Blackhill fabricated 15 sacrificial casings measuring up to 18 metres long

VolkerStevin is responsible for the £43m Defence Infrastructure Organisation project to modernise refuelling facilities for Royal Navy warships and Royal Fleet Auxiliary. 

Thanckes oil fuel depot, at Torpoint near Plymouth, is operated by the Oil & Pipelines Agency.

Exeter-based Blackhill Engineering has a double overhead gantry crane with a safe working load of 40 tonnes plus 20 tonnes in tandem lift. This capability, which it describes as ‘unique in the southwest’, allows safe loading of structures up to 25 metres long.

Blackhill fabricated 15 sacrificial casings measuring up to 18 metres long with a diameter up to 2.3 metres and weighing up to 23 tonnes each. These will be embedded into the rock strata of the River Tamar to form stanchions supporting the jetty head structure.  Blackhill is also fabricating dolphin tops, rails, frames and access equipment.

The contract’s initial scope of works has expanded with Blackhill building 6-metre wide platform structures.  The feasibility of assembling the completed platforms on its Exeter site and the logistics of transporting the finished units to the customer are being assessed as they would require an escorted convoy of vehicles.    

General manager Joe Wilcox said: “Being engaged by VolkerStevin on this major project is an achievement for our highly skilled and flexible workforce. Our BS EN 1090 structural steel and aluminium capabilities project us ahead of our competition regionally, and our embrace of a nuclear safety culture reflects the pride we take in our workmanship.”

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