An “important step” towards Belfast Harbour’s ambition to be recognised as “the world’s best regional port”, we completed the £12.6m upgrade of the Victoria 2 Terminal (VT2) ferry terminal ramp in June 2020. VT2 handles more than 200,000 freight units annually on the Belfast to Birkenhead (Liverpool) route. This major redevelopment has facilitated the introduction of the next generation of modern Roll-On / Roll-Off (RoRo) ferry vessels - Stena Line’s new E-Flexer series ships. Our project centred on the installation of a new double deck linkspan which allows vehicles to be loaded or discharged simultaneously over two decks of the ferry. As part of the works, we also constructed new berthing infrastructure including dolphins, walkways and an automatic mooring system, in addition to a new approach ramp to the linkspan upper deck.
Helping to “futureproof” Belfast Harbour’s facilities, the new VT2 has enabled Stena Line to increase freight capacity by 40%, reduce turnaround times, and enhance connectivity to key markets. Demonstrating continuous improvement, we achieved an 80% time reduction between the demolition of Dolphin F1 (50 days) in comparison to each of the remaining five Dolphins (10 days each). This was achieved by switching methodology and using more advanced equipment. In turn, the environmental risk was mitigated as this demolition approach facilitated full containment. Piles were driven with a 26 tonne vibrating hammer to refusal, before a persuasive hammer was adopted to drive to design level with a soft start procedure. All dolphin piles were installed using our bespoke hydraulic piling gate system from a 280 tonne crane barge. Highlighting further efficiencies, we saved approximately eight weeks of design and fabrication time by reusing the existing linkspan structure as our piling gate. By burning off large sections of the structure, with a view to reusing it, the need for on-site welding was significantly reduced.
“The upgrade of the Victoria Terminal 2 ferry terminal will provide world class facilities for Northern Ireland’s importers and exporters. By supporting the introduction of larger vessels the investment also futureproofs Belfast Harbour’s ferry facilities and strengthens our long-term partnership with Stena Line.
“We’re delighted to have been part of this important infrastructure project for Northern Ireland, which will unlock further potential for freight capacity between Belfast and Liverpool. The facilities will provide major benefits to Northern Ireland’s importers and exporters, improving the customer experience as well as enhancing capacity on the route.”