VolkerStevin UK was contracted by the DIO as the principal contractor on the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) Base Porting Infrastructure Project. The design and build contract, which is worth £34.4m, is to reconstruct the secure tidal berth on the Middle Slip Jetty at Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth (HMNB Portsmouth), which will be used as the home base for the new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers; HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales. The vessels are 280 meter long, have waterline beam of 38,8 meters, a flightdeckbeam of 73 meters and a displacement of around 70,000 tons
Volker Staal en Funderingen has been subcontracted for the piling of the foundation piles under the renovated jetty and the fabrication and transport of 3 floating so-called “Fender Space Units” (FSU).
The vertical piles (∅1080x16 mm) with a weight of approximately 15 tons and a maximum length of 34 meters were driven using our special moveable piling bridge with piling-frames. To meet the tight tolerances and because of the possible obstructions the piles were stabbed using a vibratory hammer and piled to final penatration using a hydraulic piling hammer. VSF took also care of the vertical and horizontal transport.
The pontoon-shaped fender space units are necessary since normal berthing of the aircraft carriers along the quay is not possible because of the special shape of the vessel. The pontoons are equipped with special fendering to distribute loads and prevent damage to the quay and the vessel when berthing the massive vessel.
The units have length of 17 meters, a width of 16 meter and a height of 5 meter. The weight of each unit is approximately 93 tons.
The units were fabricated and painted in our own shop in Rotterdam under the supervision of Lloyd’s. After waiting for some preferable weather the 3 units were towed in a single tow to Portsmouth on their own keel.