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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Shoring Up Norfolk's Sea Defences

Adsteam's specialist projects arm, Felixarc Marine, has recently completed a £2m contract for Jackson Civil Engineering to replenish the beaches of Heacham. The project is part of the Environment Agency's comprehensive package of works to improve sea defences between Hunstanton and Snettisham in Norfolk.

The project, which began in July 2005, required up to 230,000 cubic metres of sea-dredged aggregate to be trans-shipped from a dredger into barges, then towed for four miles across shallow sand flats to a number of specially constructed berthing piles.

The work was completely tidal based, with the berthing of the barges only possible around spring tides. Each of the three barges carried 900 cubic metres (1,600 tonnes) of aggregate and had to berth, discharge (each barge carried a 50-tonne excavator) and sail again within a 90-minute window. They then had to clear 2.5 miles of extreme shallows.

Felixarc Marine supplied two tugs and two multi-cats to handle the barges and the 24-hour nature of the operation meant that 26 men were needed. Felixarc also provided a Beachmaster and its sister company United Salvage pitched in, providing the services of salvage expert, Eric Johnson as on-site project manager.

Ian Harrison, Project Manager for Jackson Civil Engineering, commended the team's technical expertise, saying: "This has been a very successful project for the Environment Agency and also the residents of Heacham, who now have new sea defences. The marine challenges on this job were significant; Felixarc handled these challenges in a very competent manner. I look forward to working with them again."

Despite having to deal with severe weather (the barges were often handled in a 1.5m swell), the final load was delivered on schedule. Because almost no material had been lost during trans-shipment, the design profile was achieved with 196,000 cubic meters of aggregate.

Steve Peck, Project Manager for the Environment Agency, suggested that: "The successful completion of the works demonstrates that this approach is a viable alternative to the more usual method of pumping ashore. This method produced some significant advantages particularly by localising and therefore minimising the impact on the environment."

Andrew Gregory, general manager of Felixarc Marine, was delighted with his team's performance: "This has been a fascinating project which required high levels of technical excellence. Fortunately, we were able to demonstrate skilled seamanship and practical experience of dealing with unforeseen challenges as they arose. I am very proud of the way in which the team managed the process and congratulate them all on a highly successful and satisfactory outcome."

Adsteam UK is the country's leading supplier of towage services, with operations at seven key ports: Felixstowe, Hull, Immingham, Liverpool, London, Medway and Southampton. One of the longest-established ship-assist specialists in this field, the company has been operating on the Thames & Medway for over a century.

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For further information, please contact:

Stephen Eastwood Deborah Garritty
Chief Executive Europe Director
Adsteam (UK) Ltd Bell Pottinger North Ltd
tel 01482 337 650 tel 01625 506444


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