This case study gives an overview of mooring buoys and moorings supplied to the Port of Rotterdam by MOBILIS, specialist manufacturers of navigation equipment. Hydrosphere has a long-standing relationship with MOBILIS as their distributor into the UK since 2001.

The Port of Rotterdam is Europe’s largest seaport. In the last three years’ throughput amounts have increased from 440 million tonnes in 2013 to 466 million in 2015. Approximately 30,000 seagoing vessels and 110,000 inland vessels visit the Port of Rotterdam every year. MOBILIS were the natural choice to design and install a bespoke mooring system as they have had a close association with the Port of Rotterdam for over 20 years.

The Brief

  • To design a modern mooring buoy with more capacity to handle the steady increase in vessel numbers and size
  • To replace existing single point mooring buoys with larger multi point mooring buoys.
  • To provide simple and easy mooring and release of ships whilst ensuring the security of mooring operation staff.

The Solution

MOBILIS worked with the Port of Rotterdam to ensure that the technical specifications required were met by the new bespoke design.

The mooring buoys are manufactured from flexible polyethylene UV16-20, High Strength Steel S355 with a 5 layered protective coating including a final bio anti-fouling layer, which are easy to maintain and fully recyclable.

All materials used were selected for strength, flexibility and resilience. Extensive testing was carried out before launching to study the behaviour of materials in the environment.

It was agreed with the Port of Rotterdam that mechanical devices such as ‘Quick Release Hooks’ would be avoided due to concerns of corrosion. Service and safety were fundamental to the project’s success

Port of Rotterdam opted for a custom-designed mooring system.  The 4 point mooring system with eye/bollard combination allows for a quick release operation without using quick release hooks; the first of its kind on the market. This provides a solution suitable for use globally.

The safe working load increased from a single point 90 Tonne Safe Working Load to 4 x 108 Tonne Safe Working Load per buoy.

This has resulted in a mooring buoy that has been designed to be as ergonomic as possible, ensuring maximum safety and efficiency in all weather conditions.

This new mooring buoy provides an easy mooring and release of ships whilst ensuring the safety of mooring operation staff.

This new buoy is the MOBILIS AMR 14000. It’s features include:

  • High submergence: 94 Kg/cm
  • Floats made of polyethylene
  • 4 mooring points allow a quick release operation on the eye and bollard combination
  • SWL: 4 x 108 tons
  • High strength steel S355 with a 5 layers coating including a special final layer: a bio anti fooling.
  • Polyethylene chosen is a flexible polyethylene UV 16-20 without heavy metals and acts as a fender.

The Result

The Port of Rotterdam’s custom-designed AMR 14000 mooring buoy was launched in early 2015, fulfilling the brief and meeting the ports requirements. A Port of Rotterdam representative commented

“The new mooring buoy now makes the process of securing and releasing vessels quick and efficient….Mobilis PE buoys offers many advantages compared with our old steel mooring buoys.”

MOBILIS’ reputation for providing quality products with low maintenance costs was a key driver in the Port of Rotterdam’s decision to use MOBILIS. It was also very important that MOBILIS were willing to design a specific mooring buoy for this project.

The outcome is a product that is 100% effective and all partners are satisfied with the result. MOBILIS attributes the success of this project to the willingness of all parties to collaborate and work together throughout the research, design and testing process.

About Hydrosphere UK Ltd

Founded in 1994, Hydrosphere is firmly established as the UK and Ireland’s leading supplier of aids to navigation, providing high quality, reliable and cost-effective solutions to the marine industry. Hydrosphere represents world-leading manufacturers and supplies data buoy platforms, navigation buoys, mooring buoys, marker buoys, navigation lights, AIS, monitoring, power supplies, solar panels and moorings. In addition, Hydrosphere manufactures and designs ancillary equipment including power supplies, monitoring and control systems, and masts, and backs this up with a full installation and maintenance service. The company’s customer base in the UK and Ireland include all the Lighthouse Authorities and most major ports and harbours as well as offshore oil and gas companies, the offshore renewable energy industry, the MOD, marinas, aquaculture sites, research institutes and universities, marinas, and sailing clubs.

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