The new facility in Portsmouth consists of a 15 metre by 85 metre jetty and will be used for loading ammunition. It includes two mooring dolphins, two small vessel pontoons and provides docking and loading facilities for the Type 45 Destroyer; a key component of the UK's future defence strategy. The jetty is self-containing and has generators and welfare facilities based upon it.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded the design and construct contract to VolkerStevin Marine in December 2010, while actual works on site started in September 2011. The design was executed by Halcrow, with the assistance of VolkerWessels' in-house designer VolkerInfra Design.
The facility is constructed with tubular steel piles and precast concrete elements which guaranteed a quick construction period with minimal disturbance to the environment. Placing 58 tubular steel piles with average lengths of 35 meters, took just six weeks. The construction of the facility took only six months, while the cranes and M&E facilities were installed in four months. The cranes are equipped with the latest technology and the 34 meter boom can serve the T45 Destroyer more than adequately.
Rob Coupe, managing director of VolkerStevin commented: "Taking ten months from placing the first pile to testing the facility is a fantastic achievement that everybody who has worked on this project can be proud of. This project is recognised as a team effort, not only within the companies involved, but also with the client, who was also part of the team and contributed to the success of the project.
"This project is a good example of how VolkerWessels companies can work together as an integrated team to successfully complete complex projects."
DIO project manager, Paul Simmonds said: "DIO's priority is to support our armed forces as they prepare for operations. This has been a complex project due to the nature of the requirement, the environment and additional levels of regulation required for explosives facilities. The fact that the UHAF has been completed on time and within budget is testament to the excellent collaborative approach taken between VolkerStevin Marine, DIO and naval base staff."VolkerStevin liaised closely with the Harbour Master, the MoD, the ferry operators, the adjacent marina and other port users to ensure the works did not interfere with the day to day running of the port.