The wash from passing ships can cause those moored to come loose; it also affects the safe loading and unloading of vessels, leading to potentially dangerous situations especially when hazardous materials is involved.
“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,” said Marco Pluijm, Bechtel’s senior ports specialist and chair of ROPES.
“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”, he added.
The research, which began in 2010, is being conducted in multiple phases that have included extensive computer-simulation, scale-model testing, and now full-scale testing in the Port of Rotterdam. The results of the study are due in 2013.
The ROPES group is comprised of approximately 25 members including port authorities, maritime research institute representatives, pilots, linesmen, consultancies, and hardware suppliers. Bechtel is the only engineering and construction company involved in the initiative.