29 August, 2017

The “stern section” of the new polar research ship for Britain, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, arrived at Cammell Laird’s shipyard in Birkenhead this weekend (27 August 2017).

The video below shows the scale and complexity of this major engineering operation.

Block 10 arrives by barge at Cammell Laird Shipyard.  Courtesy: Mills Media/Cammell Laird

The 899 tonne steel block (known as Block 10) – which is the equivalent weight of 71 London double decker buses and more than 23 metres long and 24 metres wide– travelled 692 miles by barge from Hebburn-based shipyard A&P Tyne (Newcastle).  Once securely ashore work will begin on joining Block 10 to its neighbouring blocks under construction in Cammell Laird’s construction hall.

The new ship is a major UK Government investment in frontier science.  Commissioned by NERC, and built by Cammell Laird Shiprepairers & Shipbuilders Ltd to a Rolls-Royce design, the RRS Sir David Attenborough will be operated by British Antarctic Survey when the ship enters service in 2019.

Arial view of Block 10 arriving at Birkenhead.  Courtesy: Mills Media/Cammell Laird
Arial view of Block 10 arriving at Birkenhead.  Courtesy: Mills Media/Cammell Laird
Block 10 arrives at Cammell Laird.  Courtesy: Mills Media/Cammell Laird

About the new polar research ship for Britain

The RRS Sir David Attenborough will be one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world.  From 2019 onwards scientists researching oceans, ice and atmosphere will have access to state-of-the-art facilities on this floating multidisciplinary research platform.

The new polar ship is commissioned by NERC, built by Cammell Laird to a Rolls-Royce design and operated by British Antarctic Survey.  This new research platform will transform how ship-borne science is conducted in the Polar Regions. The commissioning of the RRS Sir David Attenborough is part of a major Government polar infrastructure investment programme designed to keep Britain at the forefront of world-leading research in Antarctica and the Arctic. This £200m commitment represents the UK Government‘s largest investment in polar science since the 1980s.

More information is here: www.bas.ac.uk/attenborough

Cammell Laird is one of the most famous names in British industry with roots tracing back to the early 19th Century. The business is located on the River Mersey, in the Liverpool City Region, on the West Coast of England. It is in the centre of a marine cluster, with direct access to many support services. It has a 120 acre site with four dry docks, a non-tidal wet basin, large modular construction hall and extensive covered workshops. Cammell Laird specialises in military ship refit, commercial ship repair, upgrade and conversion and heavy fabrication and engineering. It deals with a wide variety of projects ranging from specialist offshore conversions and fabrication, commercial ship-repair through to the refit and upgrade of highly complex naval auxiliaries.

About A&P Group

Global ship repair, conversion and marine specialist A&P Group operates seven dry docks across three strategic locations in the UK and has a sister business in Australia that provides ship repair services and support to the Royal Australian Navy. All facilities combine a rich heritage of marine engineering skills and experience, providing ship owners and energy companies with all the precision skills needed to complete the most demanding projects.

 ALE, one of the world’s leading international heavy transport and installation contractors, is providing the engineering solutions and executing the heavy-lifting operations for the block 10 load-out. They will use a variety of techniques and equipment to jack-up, skid and transport Block 10 by barge to Cammell Laird.  Founded in 1983, ALE is one of the world’s leading international heavy transport and installation contractors with a global network of operating centres and a large fleet of heavy cranes, specialist transport and installation equipment.