A new milestone has been achieved by the Harris Pye Group (HPG), vessels have been in both the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales dry docks in Swansea simultaneously – a first for the Group which signed a longer lease on the dry docks in April 2010 following the departure of Saga Pearl II which had been refurbished and refitted at the docks.
The two vessels are Visten and Welsh Piper. The dredger, Welsh Piper, has now left having had her biannual special service, and undergone pipe replacement and steelwork (some 20 tonnes of steel were used in all). The Visten remains, she is owned by Canada’s CAI Logistics and is a tanker being converted into a bulk carrier. Work being undertaken includes the installation of two cargo cranes and the redesign of the hatch cover arrangement.
HPG has invested heavily to revitalise the dry docks and are firmly committed to ongoing investment in them to enhance the existing facility and continually improve the service to clients. Their proximity to the Group’s UK headquarters and workshops at Barry ensures access to resources and infrastructure for fully supported operations and the ability for fast reaction to changing circumstances – just what is needed for an efficient and effective dry dock service.
So far this year, six vessels, a cruise liner, a ferry (MV Julia, now plying the Fastnet Ferry Cork-Swansea overnight route), and three dredgers (Heron, Dolphin and Welsh Piper) and the Visten have been in the dry docks, with more vessels expected in the coming weeks and months.
The two dry docks can cater for vessels of a variety of sizes and duration of stay. At 669 ft overall length, the Duke of Edinburgh Dock is the larger of the two with clear width at the entrance of 92 ft, clear width between dock walls of 98 ft, and draught over blocks of 21 ft. The Prince of Wales Dock is 564 ft in overall dock length with clear width at the entrance of 73 ft and draught over blocks of 23 ft, so marginally deeper than the Duke of Edinburgh Dock.
The dock complex has an accommodation and messing compound for use by ships’ crews when ships’ services are shut down. This results in substantial savings on hotel and travelling costs as well as allowing uninterrupted work on board the vessel.