South Australian Common User Facility

This project included maintenance and capital dredging around the common user facility (CUF) and ASC ship building facility within South Australia’s maritime precinct, Techport Australia.

The CUF is a State-owned facility and consists of a ship-lift, wharf, ship transfer system and dry berth for shipbuilding and ship maintenance activities. Its primary purpose is to support the construction of the Air Warfare Destroyers for the Royal Australian Navy.

The scope of work included:

  • Capital dredging of 54,000m3 of predominantly hard material to allow for the extension of the CUF wharf
  • Maintenance dredging to remove infill sediment from both the CUF and ASC ship lifts
  • Maintenance dredging of infill sediment from under the ASC wharf area.

Birdon pumped the removed sediment, via a temporary pipeline, more than 2.5 km to designated settling ponds. Due to the distance, Birdon deployed booster pumps to ensure efficiency. The water was allowed to settle and monitored for quality before being returned to the river. Key to securing this bid was Birdon’s innovative solution which involved using a low pontoon to manoeuvre the pump under the ship lift. This allowed for dredging under the ship lifts without the need to remove the deck timbers of the structures. This resulted in minimal docking restrictions during the work.