Project Update:

December 5th, 2019:

It is an exciting day down at the Victoria Cruise Ship Terminal! The piles for both the mooring and breasting dolphins are up and being welded together before they will be driven down into the sea bed.

What is a Mooring Dolphin?

A dolphin is a structure which extends the berthing capacity for longer vessels.

Why are Mooring Dolphins installed?

They are installed when it is impractical to either extend the shoreline or a pier/wharf in order to accommodate longer vessels in port.

Why would we install a Mooring Dolphin?

Installing a Dolphin at the Victoria Cruise Ship Terminal is critical to the growth of the cruise-ship industry in Victoria, BC as this critical infrastructure will allow larger cruise ships to dock.

What are the components of a Mooring Dolphin?

Common Questions:

How are the pieces of steel connected?

The steel is connected by welding pieces together.  To weld two pieces together, it takes approximately 2.41 kilometers (1.5 miles) of weld and 54 passes to complete one weld. 3 automated power controllers are used, and 3 welders are needed at a time.  It will take 3-4 shifts of 12 hours to complete each weld.

Are divers needed to work on this project?

Yes, there are divers needed to complete this project. Divers are needed for installation of electrical cables and to install anodes to the piles.

What is the power and water supply used for this project?

The amount of power and water needed is minimal; as the barges have their own power through environmental diesel generators.

How are the piles driven into the seabed?

Piles are driven into the seabed using two interlinked vibratory hammers.  These vibratory hammers are joined and synchronized at 56,699kgs (125,000lbs) in weight. Power output to vibrate is eccentric movement.  This vibrates the pile into the seabed and is operated with its own diesel generator.

How deep does the pile go into the seabed?

The pile will go 45 meters (147 feet) into the seabed.

Are the piles left hollow and will they rust?

90% of the pile is filled with sand, with the top 10% filled with concrete. There is a metalized coating on the outside of the pile to help prevent rust, in addition an anode system will also be in place to prevent corrosion.  There will also rock placed around the outside of the pile. The platform that sits on top of the pile where the ship will be tied off too will be concrete as well.  There will be approximately 126m3 + 29m3 of concrete used as well as 3200m3 of rock (3 barges). The concrete is pumped from the pier to the water.

How will the ship connect to the Mooring Dolphin?

There are two parts to this project, there is the Mooring Dolphin (MD1) and the Breasting Dolphin (BD1).  The Mooring Dolphin will take the lead lines form either the bow or stern of a vessel. There are four 400 tonne bollards linked to a large capstan for maximum flexibility. The mooring platform is accessible via a catwalk extension aligned with the existing dolphin constructed in 2014.  The Breasting dolphin will be equipped with a fender for the vessel to protect from accidental impact and to provide bearing for longer ships as needed.   The breasting dolphin is equipped with a 200-tonne bollard and capstan to provide spring line tie up as needed.

The size of the design vessel is approximately up to 220,000 tonnes;therefore the piles needs for the project are as follows:

  • The MD1 is 62 meters (203 feet) with a diameter of 3.5 meters (10 feet)
  • The BD1 is 61 meters (200 feet), with a diameter of 2.75 meters (9 feet)

The thickness of the steel is:

  • MD1 is 44.5 mm (1.75 inches)
  • BD1 is 38.1 mm (1.5 inches)

How many people are involved in this project?

There are 60 onsite construction people involved in this project; including support from a project team based out of the West Coast and local area. There is also support from a Seattle-based design team.

How many shifts are working to get this job completed?

There is one 12-hour shift per day working on this project. Shifts are scheduled around the tides.

Where are the materials for this project from?

Most of the materials are from Canada (some from Vancouver Island).  The steel and fender system are sourced from China.  Most staff on this project are from the Vancouver/Vancouver Island region.

Environmental Concerns

  • The area is near a high migration for marine mammals
  • This project has little to no impact to marine life and is carefully monitored under DFO guidelines.  Acoustic, visual work is not impulsive noise, meaning it doesn’t create pressure waves that can affect wildlife.
  • The bed rock around the pile bases will help to create rock reefs for marine habitants; such as: fish-ling cod and rock fish, invertebrates and kelp.