The new container handling berth in Southampton can accomodate the largest container ships in the world. It's construction involved building a steel pile wall to retain the bank and support a high crane and vehicle loads on the quayside. During construction, isolated areas of anti-corrosive coating of the main piles became damaged and re-instatement above and underwater was required to meet construction specifications.
UMC International has extensive experience of successfully coating vessels and structures underwater. It requires expert knowledge of conditions, correct product selection and a high degree of skill and care from the operators. Since the quayside was already operating, the task required the complexity of working safely around ships and management of the entire project from the water side. Unusual tidal effects and bad visibilty added to this. In all coating applications, the correct preparation is vital. The affected areas were thoroughly cleaned of marine growth and blasted to a suitable finish before the coating material was applied. As part of the Quality Test Plan regular film thickness measurements were taken ensuing the correct number of coats were applied to meet standards.
Provided the contractor has the knowledge, skill and expertise underwater coatings can achieve a design life very similar to those applied on the surface. UMC International has successfuly proven capabilities in this highly technical field and the new berth at Southampton should remain protected for many years.