April 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Smit International Adding Two Submersible Barges To Fleet

Barging of drilling rigs is a method of transportation which has only been used in recent years. However, the principle of this method of transportation has been used successfully for many years. The basic development took place in Western Europe where Dutch dredging contractors tried to find a mode of ocean transportation for their dredging equipment. Smit International NV of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, contributed to this method of moving heavy equipment with the development of the submersible barge. Now, Smit Tak Zeetransport B.V. of Rotterdam, coordinates this activity for Smit International.

To increase its heavy-lift transport capability, Smit recently ordered two large "towlift" barges from Mitsui Ocean Development and Engineering Co., Ltd. of Japan. The first barge will be commissioned this month, and the second in June. They will be named Giant 2 and Giant 3.

The submersible barges have a length overall of 459 feet 5 inches; a breadth, molded, of 118 feet 1 inch; a depth of 27 feet 10 inches, and a maximum draft of 21 feet 10 inches. The approximate deadweight is 24,000 tons. The design submergence depth is 54 feet or 26 feet 2 inches over the main deck.

The ship-form hull is divided into 28 tanks so that accurate ballasting and deballasting is possible. These tanks are formed by two longitudinal watertight bulkheads and transverse bulkheads.

Compressed air is used for the refloating operation. Ballasting is performed by opening valves arranged in each tank. The valves for both operations are remotely controlled from the control room located between the two funnels from the engine room at the stern. The engine room houses the generator and compressor sets.

Lloyd's Register of Shipping has classed the barges as 100A Pontoon.

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