Shiprepair & Maintenance: 3rd Quarter 2020
The installation of a new roof will turn Blohm+Voss’ Dock 10 into Europe’s largest covered floating dock. This significant development, funded by the yard’s owners, the Lürssen group, is expected to offer improved occupational health and safety, more effective environmental protection and better guard against the temperamental Hamburg weather.
In covering the 287m-long floating dock, Lürssen is investing more than €13 million (US$14.8 million) in an upgrade of Blohm+Voss’ dock infrastructure that it hopes will strengthen its long-term position within the competitive North European shiprepair sector. According to Dr. Klaus Borgschulte, Blohm+Voss’ supervisory board chairman: “The renovation enables us to significantly expand the range of repairs and refit services for existing and potential customers, for yachts, naval and cruise ships especially. It also further increases the appeal of the location, particularly for our superyacht customers. In addition, we will significantly improve working conditions for our employees and reduce noise emissions and energy consumption.”
The design of the new roof for Dock 10 was developed by the German architect and engineer, Werner Sobek. The proposal was chosen, Blohm+Voss says, due to a unique feature which allows owners to ‘display’ their ships within the floating dock if desired. The structure will consist of a framework of panels along the length of the dock, which are alternately arranged inwards and outwards.
The translucent membrane of the exterior facade ensures sufficient lighting inside, while in the central area of the north facade, a transparent membrane creates a sort of ‘showcase’ which can be observed from the city on the opposite quay. For confidential projects, a custom-made drape can be drawn across the length of the membrane to provide complete privacy.
Work on the construction of the new structure at Blohm+Voss is planned to start this year and will also use the neighbouring 351m-long Elbe 17 dock. For this reason, a yacht currently being built in Elbe 17 will first be moved into Dock 10 and then both yacht and dock will be redocked together in Elbe 17.
The work on the yacht will continue during the construction of the new roof. After an expected construction period of around six months, the floating dock and the yacht inside will both be relocated to the Lürssen Berne shipyard in Bremen until the vessel is scheduled to be completed. The dock is expected to then return to its original position at Blohm+Voss in Hamburg in 2022.
During the Covid-19 crisis, Blohm+Voss has been fully operational, assiduously following recommendations from the Robert Koch Institute, as well as the German health authorities. Borgschute adds: “In addition, we are in close contact with the regulatory bodies on a daily basis so that we can reassess the situation on site each day and ensure we adjust our operating procedures at short notice if necessary.”
Notable visitors to the yard in recent months have included the containership, Mastery D, which was drydocked in June for collision damage repairs, and the cruise ship Hamburg which was docked for general repairs and the installation of additional balconies and a stabiliser. The vessel spent 23 days at the yard in May this year.
The yard has also seen the arrival of a number of cruise ships, including Europa 2. At this stage however the yard is only offering layup berth services until the vessels can return to service post-pandemic.