Ireland’s only oil refinery is located at Whitegate in County Cork. The refinery was built on Corkbeg Island, on one side of the bay, and it processes low-sulphur crude oil, which is delivered to its docks in tankers from the North Sea and West Africa. Once refined, the gasoline, diesel and kerosene are distributed across Ireland and Europe.
Opened in 1959, and originally owned by Phillips 66, the Canadian company Irving Oil bought Whitegate in September 2016, and has undertaken refurbishment work on the dock since then.
Tankers are huge, heavy and unwieldy. Their crews need high levels of skill to handle them, but they also need the right equipment and protection. This is why the docks at Whitegate need the best in steel dock fenders, in order to protect the tankers, the docks themselves, and, ultimately, the environment. County Cork is on the south eastern coast of Ireland, and an oil spill would be disastrous for a huge area of coast and sea. Protection for the tankers is of the utmost importance.
Jamestown Steel is the market leader in heavy precision engineering of this type, which is why L M Heng, the main contractors, chose them for the project. The dock fenders needed to be the best.
Not Much Room for Manoeuvre
Once the huge fenders had been manufactured, they were taken to County Cork for installation. This had been another of the bespoke heavy engineering projects for which Jamestown Steel is renowned, and it had called for careful and detailed work, from design to completed fenders. They had to fit onto the dock walls precisely, and there was minimum tolerance.
LCF, one of Ireland’s leading marine contractors, removed the old fenders and replaced them with Jamestown Steel’s new structures, using their vessels An tOileanch and Kismet.
It was difficult and highly skilled work, but it was completed successfully and on time.