Unexploded ordnance clearance operations with saturation divers
MILAN, Italy, Aug. 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — At the construction site of the new breakwater dam in Genoa, underwater unexploded ordnance clearance operations have begun at depths of up to 50 meters. Webuild, the first company in Italy to do so, is using a special operational method that involves employing saturation divers. The operations will continue for 60 consecutive days, during which the divers will take turns being brought to saturation and then descend and ascend from the seafloor.
The new breakwater dam in Genoa is being constructed by the consortium PERGENOVA BREAKWATER, led by Webuild in collaboration with Fincantieri Infrastructure Opere Marittime, Fincosit, and Sidra. Rina is entrusted with the project management consulting activities. The project was commissioned by the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority. For the construction of the dam, which will also benefit from the NRRP (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) funds, it is estimated that 1,000 people, including direct and third-party personnel, will be employed.
The clearance operations, carried out in collaboration with Drafinsub, involve 8 saturation divers who are taken to the depths in groups of 2 using a diving bell. The divers take turns spending 4 hours each underwater before being replaced by another pair. The operations are coordinated from a pontoon on the surface, where a saturation system has been set up, along with a support operation system, a 1,200 KW power generation station, and accommodation for the 32 technicians who will live and work onboard the vessel throughout the construction phase, ensuring the operations are carried out in complete safety. A control room allows for the monitoring of all parameters of the diving bell and hyperbaric chambers. The operations will continue, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.
In addition to the unexploded ordnance clearance, the construction site of the new breakwater dam is also continuing with the consolidation operations of the seafloor that began on July 7. This has already resulted in the completion of approximately 220 out of the 70,000 gravel columns that will provide stability to the foundation on which the future defense structure will rest. The gravel-laying activities on the seafloor are also ongoing, with approximately 200,000 tons of material already placed, utilizing a vessel with a capacity of 3,600 tons and two smaller pontoons with a total capacity of about 700 tons. On average, these vessels transport 3,000 tons of gravel per day and have completed over 90 round trips so far, departing from Piombino and Genoa.
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