Lerwick Port Authority is moving the large floatel barge Kalmar to a new location at Holmsgarth owing to the amount of movement in Albert Dock in a southerly wind.
According to the authority the shallow draft of the barge and its flexible mooring system means that it moves around too much in a strong southerly wind.
A statement on the port authority’s website says: “The relocation has become necessary due to the barge moving very considerably in Albert Dock when there is strong wind from a southerly direction.
“This is causing stress to the mooring system and therefore the decision has been taken to transfer the floatel. The shallow draft of the barge under the waterline and the flexible fenders that the barge uses have contributed to the movement of the barge during windy conditions and it is not possible to improve this due to the gangway access to the Kalmar being on the lower deck.”
Last month Kalmar broke a mooring wire and had to be re-secured in an operation involving the harbour tug and pilot boat. It took an hour and a half to secure the 94m long, 220 cabin floatel, which is home to people working at the Petrofac gas plant.
At the time LPA chief executive Sandra Laurenson said there had been recurring problems with Kalmar’s moorings in certain wind conditions and the situation was been monitored by the port operators and the barge’s master and owners, Chevalier Barges.
The Kalmar is moving to Holmsgarth berth 4, south of the NorthLink linkspan. Berth 4 was not available when the floatel arrived at Lerwick in June. The Shetland Gas Plant modules that came to Lerwick during 2013 were transferred through Holmsgarth to the gas plant site but these shipments are now complete. The Holmsgarth berth is available until the spring when a different offshore project is scheduled to use the area.
Meanwhile, a fourth accommodation barge Bibby Bergen is in Norway awaiting suitable weather for the tow across the North Sea.