J3575 : Shipyard cranes, Belfast

taken 17 years ago, near to Belfast, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland

Shipyard cranes, Belfast
Shipyard cranes, Belfast

The building dock and cranes at Harland & Wolff were part of a modernisation scheme known as the “P200” scheme. It envisaged an annual throughput of 200,000 tons of steel in building very large oil tankers and bulk carriers. The oil crisis of 1973 dealt a severe blow to the idea. The cranes are still used but in ship repair and metal fabrication rather than building whole ships. Much of the area is being redeveloped as the “Titanic Quarter”. There are very few of the original buildings and other facilities left.
The Harland and Wolff Building Dock, Belfast

The building dock in Belfast was constructed between 1968-1970 by George Wimpey & Company for the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. A massive 556 metres long by 93 metres wide, it was designed for the construction of massive crude oil tankers and bulkers. Although many ships were constructed here, including two supertankers of 172,174 tonnes (343,423 DWT), the yard was in decline by the early 1970s and the dock never really fulfilled its potential. The last ship to be constructed was the 'Anvil Point' in 2003 and the yard now specialising in ship repair and the emerging renewable energies sector, notably offshore wind turbines and tidal energy projects.
Towering above the dock are the two gantry cranes 'Samson' and 'Goliath'. Now landmarks on the Belfast skyline, the cranes were designed for the yard by the German firm Krupp. Goliath, completed in 1969 and mostly fabricated by the yard, stands at 96 metres and Samson, completed in 1974 and built entirely by Krupp, is taller at 106 metres. Both cranes have a span of 140m and have a safe working load of 840 tonnes each (though I believe were tested for 1,000 which caused the top girders to bend downwards by some 11 inches). They run on 800m of track which spans the length of the dock and each crane has 64 special anti-friction bearing mounted wheels.
Both the dock and the cranes are now protected scheduled monuments. See LinkExternal link for technical information .

LinkExternal link in an informative video from the BBC.

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J3575, 1043 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
Date Taken
Saturday, 3 February, 2007   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 3 February, 2007
Category
Vehicles > Cranes   (more nearby)
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 35 75 [1000m precision]
WGS84: 54:36.5721N 5:54.2162W
Camera Location
Irish: geotagged! J 35 75
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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