Steam Packet chairman denounces design of Liverpool ferry terminal |


The chairman of the Steam Packet has questioned the entire Liverpool ferry terminal project.

Lars Ugland says costs have skyrocketed there due to poor and unsuitable design.

He made his comments in a letter to Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker, which he shared with the reviewer.

‘To be bluntly honest, the reason for the extra cost started when AECOM [an American engineering company] was chosen as the designer of the project, ”he says. “It turned out that various parts of the design were poor and unsuitable.

“The Steam Packet did not trust the quality of the work done by AECOM and I understand John Sisk, the civil engineering contractor neither so Royal HaskoningDHV [an engineering design consultancy] was brought in.

“Why AECOM is still involved in this project is questionable and adds unnecessary costs. “

Mr Ugland also lambasted Mr Baker for making “unacceptable” comments.

The dispute revolves around the issue of ‘scour protection’ at the terminal being built for Manx ferries in Liverpool.

The project, which is funded by the Manx taxpayer and originally costing £ 25million, is now estimated at £ 38million.

Mr Ugland wrote his letter after Mr Baker told Tynwald that additional costs had been incurred for the project due to the design of Steam Packet’s new ferry, Manxman.

He told Mr Baker: “I find this statement incorrect and unacceptable.

“The Steam Packet did not result in any additional costs for the project, which we intend to state publicly.”

He said there had been no unexpected increase in the power of the bow thruster on the Manxman, the vessel being built for the company in Korea.

He provided plans which he said make it “pretty clear that ship thrusters are not the problem.”

Indeed, the water jets of the Manannan fastcraft were worse for scouring.

Port facilities experience scouring of the seabed due to runoff from high-speed propellers directed towards berth structures, particularly during arrival and departure maneuvers.

This scouring action can not only undermine the structural integrity of marine structures, but also contribute to variations in the bottom profile due to the deposition of eroded material in other areas.

“The reason for the increased scour protection is that the project team only recently asked us what level of thrust would be used by vessels during maneuvering,” says Ugland.

He adds that the team watched the ships dock at Douglas on CCTV.

But it is a “protected port without much tidal effect”.

The team speculated that a similar amount of push would be required.

“What does not appear to have been taken into account is a potential seven knot tide in the River Mersey and westerly winds, which would require Manannan to use 100% thrust at about 30 degrees from the quay wall to push the ship, ”Mr. Ugland said. .

“In our meetings with the project team, the Steam Packet has always emphasized that this would not be an easy berth given the magnitude of the tides and the flows.”

Mr. Ugland said the protection at the berth would be enhanced by using riprap bags on the riverbed to stack the protection with formwork and backfill.

This would require a change in planning.

In turn, this will cause more delays in the construction of the terminal, as it would have to be installed before the quay walls and the link span can be built.

“No doubt this will have a significant impact on the completion date, which is why when the press asked us recently, we referred to the Steam Packet which is unlikely to use the front berth. spring 2023. “

Mr Ugland adds: “If our preferred approach of a fully floating span had not been rejected for cost reasons, the problem of scour protection and the additional costs associated with it would have been avoided and the berth would be more suited to the environment of the River Mersey. ‘

Mr. Baker responds in the Isle of Man Examiner tomorrow.

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