New research to mitigate wash in ports

06 Nov 2012
Full scale testing is now underway at the Port of Rotterdam

Full scale testing is now underway at the Port of Rotterdam

USA based engineering and construction firm, Bechtel, has announced the new phase of a study which will improve the safety and future design of ports.

Bechtel is leading a joint industry research project, called Research on the Passing Effects on Ships (ROPES), which has now moved from computer simulation to testing involving ships in port.

ROPES began in 2010 to analyse the impact of the wash created when ships move in and out of ports. Wash of course can loosen moored ships, cause damage to the ports and affects the safe loading and unloading of vessels.

Marco Pluijm, Bechtel’s senior ports specialist and chair of ROPES, said: “In recent years, the size, speed and power of ships have increased dramatically, increasing the size of their wash. The impact of the wash is a serious concern which can result in safety issues, environmental damage and financial loss.”

He added: “Until now, little research has been done on this subject. Our research is identifying the full-effect of a passing ship’s wash and what can be done in terms of port design to mitigate that.”

The research is being carried out in multiple phases including computer simulation and scale model testing. Full scale testing is now being carried out in the Port of Rotterdam and results are due in 2013.

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