Piling project at sea successfully completed

Transporting 12 pontoon piles by sea and then installing them in Wilhelmshaven in northern Germany. For this specialized job, FSRU Wilhelmshaven GmbH called on Ballast Nedam's maritime expertise. In collaboration with various partners, the job was accomplished. And that in less than 2 weeks.

An FSRU is permanently moored at the Wilhelmshaven pier: a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit. This unit receives cargoes of liquefied natural gas from tankers all over the world and re-gasifies the liquid. A floating jetty is currently under construction for this regasification unit.

Maritime expertise

Part of this building project is the construction of an access pontoon. Ballast Nedam placed the 12 piles to guide this floating access platform; this allows it to move with the height difference of about 5 meters between the tides. Jan de Vries, Project Manager at Ballast Nedam: "Installing this type of pile on water has to be done within very precise tolerances. That is quite specialized work. Typically a job for Ballast Nedam Infra Projects. Together with our partners we completed this job on time and within budget."


The 44-meter-long piles (80 tons) were transported from Rotterdam by barge to Wilhelmshaven. "To get the pontoon piles into place in the sea, a gripper frame was used. TMS Industrial Services refurbished an existing gripper especially for this purpose, quite a challenge given the short time frame. On site, we pre-piled the piles with a vibro hammer from Cape Holland and then finished them off with an impact hammer." The successful execution turned entirely on cooperation, De Vries emphasizes. "You always do a project like this with others. We hire parties, but it only works if everything also comes together properly. That was certainly the case now: in mid-June we started mobilizing and 10 days later we could deliver the project. This job really went completely according to plan."

Iconic platform back in action for Ballast Nedam

An old acquaintance was also used in the operation: the Jack-up Buzzard. A platform on hydraulically driven legs that protrudes above the surface of the water and thus acts as a floating work island. The Buzzard was built by Ballast Nedam in 1982 and has since passed into English hands; the iconic platform was hired especially for this project. Thus, after many years, the Jack-up Buzzard was again active for Ballast Nedam - a very successful reunion.

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