First Buoy Deliveries from FenderCare on Marine Services Contract
Signed in 2008, FenderCare has a 5-year LTA in place with international services provider Serco. The contract is to supply class mooring systems within the context of the Marine Services contract awarded to Serco by the UK Ministry of Defence.
The overall LTA makes provision for the supply of 600 containers of chain and fittings to yards designated by Serco, and whilst this was the primary scope of the contract the supply of self-fendering, low-maintenance mooring buoys was subsequently added to that scope.
A total of 36 mooring buoys have been manufactured and delivered to this project by the Plymouth facility of the Hippo Marine division of FenderCare over the course of the spring and summer of 2011. These range from 11.5t to 25t in net buoyancy, and are configured with a chain-through arrangement to allow for ease of inspection of the mooring connections.
Hippo’s buoy technology has evolved from their manufacture of low-maintenance, lightweight fender systems. In floating form, Hippo fenders have been adopted by many navies around the world for quayside and onboard use and they also feature as d-sections bonded to the hulls of some of the most prominent patrol and interception craft in use today by the world’s navies.
The use of these same materials for the manufacture of Hippo’s range of mooring buoys ensures that these buoys will absorb high levels of impact without either suffering or causing damage in a way which steel and inferior plastic technologies simply cannot. The closed-cell foam used for the core of these buoys will ensure no loss of buoyancy if the outer skin is breached. They also require much less ongoing maintenance than the steel buoys which they will be replacing, which require expensive returns to land for shot-blasting and repainting due to corrosion and colour-fade. The new mooring buoys will provide both Serco and ultimately the MOD with much lower through-life costs and therefore much better return on investment compared to the steel buoys they are replacing.
Chris Sparrow, Sales and Marketing Manager of Hippo Marine commented, “We are extremely pleased that Serco and the MOD have selected Hippo buoys for this prestigious project. It provides further evidence of blue-chip organizations buying into the principle that although Hippo buoys may not be the cheapest on offer at point of purchase, once capex and maintenance budgets are put together and the decision made from a progressive, through-life viewpoint rather than from a short-term perspective, the case for Hippo buoys becomes compelling.”