$280-Million Expansion At CNR Palermo Yard Nears Completion

Cantieri Navali Riunite, a member of the Fincantieri Group, recently invited shipowners, guests, and members of the maritime press to visit and tour its newly expanded ship repair and drydocking facilities in Palermo, Sicily.

The yard's new 400,000-dwt drydock is now in operation, and incorporates the latest automated techniques in blast-cleaning and ship-handling equipment. Executives of the shipbuilding and ship repairing complex stated that the Palermo yard is ideally suited to service vessel owners with all types of ship repair and conversion work because of its location in the Mediterranean at the crossroads of the main sea lanes, its modern updated plant equipment, and its abundance of skilled labor.

The Palermo yard offers fully a u t o m a t e d and c o m p u t e r i z ed equipment of special design, and modern, recently erected shops for every type of engine repair, steel and electrical work, and an excellent labor force of more than 1,000 skilled, permanent employees.

Several major conversion and repair projects were under way as the invited guests toured the yard; these projects represented more than $7 million in orders.

The huge new drydock has a length of 370 meters, width of 68 meters, and depth over keel blocks ranging from 10.45 to 11.35 meters at the head end (about 1,214 by 223 by 34.3/37.2 feet). This dock is the biggest in Italy, and t h e second l a r g e s t repair-only dock in the Mediterranean.

Of the first 14 dockings in the new facility, only four were Italian- flag vessels. Only about 10 percent of all the ships repaired at the CNR yard are Italian, the rest flying the flags of many other countries.

In its present f o rm the Palermo yard dates back to the 1890s when a 20,000-dwt-capacity graving dock and support buildings were first constructed. One of the largest in the world at that time, that graving dock was the yard's major facility until 1953 when a floating drydock of 19,000 tons lifting capacity was installed. This was able to accommodate tankers of up to 32,000 dwt—a common size in the 1950s. In 1958 a drydock of 40,000 tons lifting capacity was added, which in 1968 was enlarged to 52,000 tons lifting capacity capable of docking ships of up to 160,000 dwt.

These three docks are still in regular use, and along with the new 400,000-dwt unit provide a wide range of drydocking capability for all sizes and types of ships.

Ships entering and leaving the new dock are maneuvered by four hauling-in devices each powered by a winch with a line pull of 19/25 tons. Control is either from a station at the head of the dock or from a similar enclosure near the dock gate. The dock gate is a bottom hinge type, with a ballast flotation tank on the seaward face. Dewatering of the dock is accomplished in 2 hours 40 minutes by four pumps, each with a capacity of 27,000 cubic meters per hour and driven by a 5 kv, 1,800-hp electric motor.

The C.N.R. (Cantieri Navali Riunite) yard is represented in the United States by Stephen E.

Berke, Overseas Shipyards Inc., 21 West Street, New York, N.Y.


Other stories from November 1980 issue


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