Intermarine UK Completes Pontoon for Britain’s New Aircraft Carriers
Maritime engineering specialist Intermarine UK has completed its latest project to construct a floating platform for the British Royal Navy.
The Dorset-based company has built a 24x12 meter pontoon that will be moored to the stern of either HMS Queen Elizabeth or HMS Prince of Wales when anchored in Portsmouth, allowing crew and passengers to board and disembark at the rear of the ship.
Intermarine UK, part of Polish-owned Inter Marine Group, opened a 2,000sqm fabrication and welding facility at Portland Port on England’s south coast at the start of 2018. Over the past year it has spent in excess of £500,000 equipping the site with state-of-the-art machinery.
Mark Bowden, Intermarine UK production manager, said: “This project for the Royal Navy has made excellent use of the production base we’ve created at Portland Port.
“All the equipment we’ve installed in the workshop has been used to produce this pontoon, from the hydraulic rolling machine to the CNC press brake. Our CNC plasma cutting machine is ideal for any steel project and on this occasion it enabled us to cut out all the panels required for the pontoon. It removed the need to mark the panels by hand, cut them and then dress them, speeding up the whole process and increasing productivity.
“It’s a perfect example of the investment we’ve made in our facility at Portland Port bearing fruit.”
The pontoon was built in four sections over a period of two-and-a-half months. Each part was then bolted together to create a floating platform with a lightship displacement of 86 tonnes. The bolted I-section framework in the middle of the pontoon carries a soft patch deck area of approximately 16x6 metres. The completed platform was then delivered to Portsmouth.
Prior to establishing its production facility, Intermarine UK played a central role in the assembly of Britain’s two new aircraft carriers. As part of a four-and-a-half year project employing 500 people, the company was tasked with aligning and joining up sections of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. Each of the ships’ modules comprised 16 decks and weighed hundreds of tonnes, making it a huge undertaking requiring considerable skill and precision.
Since opening its Portland Port workshop, Intermarine UK has been able to provide an extensive range of engineering and fabrication services to the UK’s ship repair, refit, conversion and shipbuilding markets. The firm is also diversifying into other industries, including the energy sector and renewables, in an effort to make best use of its specialist skills and production capabilities.
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