Hon Brendon Grylls MLA

Hon Brendon Grylls MLA

Former Minister for Housing; Racing and Gaming

Hon Troy Buswell BEc MLA

Hon Troy Buswell BEc MLA

Former Treasurer; Minister for Transport

    Western Australia's new floating dock a world-first

    9/02/2010 12:00 AM

    Lands Minister Brendon Grylls and Commerce Minister Troy Buswell today officially launched the most technically advanced floating dock and transfer system in the world at the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) in Henderson.


    The new floating dock is part of a four-year $170million upgrade to the AMC which also includes self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs), the eastern wharf and a transfer wharf.


    The State Government expects the floating dock would add more than $2billion to the State’s economy over 25 years through naval contracts as well as up to $100million a year for resources-related projects.


    The 99 metre by 53 metre dock can lift vessels weighing up to 12,000 tonnes out of the water for service and maintenance and facilitate the water-to-land transfer of vessels up to 3,500 tonnes.


    Mr Grylls said the dock’s capabilities were vital for supporting the Royal Australian Navy Collins Class submarine fleet which would be serviced at the Common User Facility until at least 2032.


    The first submarine was scheduled to dock at the AMC in early 2010.


    “This new $60million floating dock is a world-first and we are very proud to be launching it today,” Mr Grylls said.


    “No other dock in the world can move in more than one direction at a time and very few docks have the capability to transfer and offload vessels.”


    Mr Buswell said the new infrastructure would significantly enhance the common use capabilities of the AMC and link Western Australian industries with the development and operation of major resources, petroleum and defence projects.


    “The addition of the floating dock to this important facility will ensure it remains at the forefront of major project delivery in this State,” Mr Buswell said.


    “In particular, the dock will play a major role in assisting local industry to capitalise on opportunities from the 2009 Defence White Paper.


    “A significant benefit for the fabricators that already use the Common User Facility for building oil and gas projects is also that it can be used to test subsea components before they go to site.”


    The Government is currently looking at a range of options regarding the second stage of the dock.


    The floating dock is supported by a 512-wheeled self propelled modular transporter that can move vessels up to 3,500 tonnes anywhere within the AMC by one operator with a remote control.


    The SPMTs will be available to all Western Australian industries to use at the complex and together with the floating dock will make a major contribution to the economy of WA.


    The six-year upgrade project was delivered by LandCorp, the Department of Commerce and AMC Management Pty Ltd.


    Lands Minister’s office - 9213 7000

    Commerce Minister’s office - 9222 9111 





    ·      More than 70 per cent of the floating dock was built within WA including fabrication of the 1,000 tonne steel sidewalls and the development and integration of all high technology ‘smart’ components

    ·      Other civil works including wharf and service upgrades were completed by WA contractors which represented a significant commitment to local content.


    The dock

    ·      Construction took place in Perth and Vietnam simultaneously.

    ·       Measures 99 metres x 53 metres and the design allows for a second stage to be built that will adjoin the dock and provide an additional 132 metres of docking capacity. The second stage will be attachable as required and operate seamlessly as one complete 232 metre unit

    ·      The pontoon base consists of 24 watertight chambers that transfer ballast water for support and positioning

    ·      Will lift vessels up to 12,000 tonnes out of the water for service and maintenance and will facilitate the land to water transfer of vessels up to 3,500 tonnes, vital to supporting the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Collins Class submarine fleet, which will be serviced at the CUF until at least 2032

    ·      In November 2009, float-on and float-off tests using the Volvox Anglia, a 67 metre vessel weighing 1,300 tonnes proved the performance of the ballast control system worked perfectly.


    Cultural Heritage

    ·      Both the floating dock and SPMTs have been given traditional Nyoongar names, Yargan and Kaalil respectively

    ·      Yargan is the Nyoongar word for tortoise and similarly, the floating dock has amphibious qualities and will carry heavy vessels, like a tortoise carries its shell, to transfer them to and from land and water

    ·      Kaalil is the Nyoongar word for soldier ant and in many ways the SPMT resembles a chain of ants carrying many times their own weight, in that the trailers will be linked together to transfer heavy vessels and modules to and from the floating dock

    ·      Thank you to the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council for their input and permission to use these names.