A lot is happening at Antwerp Port Authority, the organisation behind one of Europe’s major harbours. As well as a spectacular new headquarters building, a design by Zaha Hadid who tragically died at the end of March this year, various projects are ongoing. TCS has just completed the new centralised maintenance centre, a turnkey project involving the construction of four workshops, including the associated crane infrastructure.
Reorganising infrastructure maintenance
Antwerp is the second busiest harbour in Europe in terms of traffic and container throughput, just behind Rotterdam. About 150,000 people work at the harbour, managed by an organisation of 1590 staff. A significant number of these are overseeing various upgrade projects such as carbon footprint reduction and efficiency improvements.
Inconveniently dispersed activities
A recent project involved centralising the teams who maintain the bridges, locks and other critical port infrastructure. Antwerp Port Authority architect Charlotte Ooms explains: “Our maintenance teams provide a 24/7 service, but until recently they were dispersed over a lot of different locations. While this was a good option at the time, it brought with it a number of inconveniences such as ineffective spare part management and suboptimal use of equipment. For this reason, we decided to build a new maintenance centre where these activities could be centralised.”
State-of-the-art workshops and storage space
A site near the Van Cauwelaert Lock, at just about the geographical heart of the port, was selected for the construction of four workshops with a total area of 2500 m². They comprise two state-of-the art air-conditioned sheds, accommodating a woodworking and a metalworking workshop plus an archive, as well as two open but secure industrial sheds for storing larger components and spare parts. The new units have improved security as well as protection from the weather.
We wanted this project to be managed by one contractor.
A successful turnkey operation
The project was carried out by TCS in a turnkey operation. “We wanted this to be managed by one contractor,” says Ooms. “They took care of everything, including the design, engineering, manufacturing and installation of the necessary overhead cranes. In addition, we hired the independent company Socotec to verify the engineering, manufacturing and construction operations. Their assessment confirmed that the work complies with all the applicable quality standards, which is important when negotiating the ten-year liability insurance.”
- Turnkey construction of four connected workshops of 18 x 36 m each (eaves height 7.10 m), including pile foundations.
- Compliant with latest EPB energy standards.
- 120 tonnes of structural steel.
- Engineering, manufacturing and construction verified by Socotec (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Installation of two 2T and one 10T overhead cranes.