Tenix Shipbuilding WA commissioned the world's largest, and Australia's first, rotary ship turntable at its Henderson facility. Mr. Phil Brown, General Manager, Tenix Shipbuilding WA said the system is a boon for Australian shipbuilding. "The locally engineered and designed system is the only turntable of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere as well as the world's largest. This new rotary transfer system will deliver significant benefits to the Western Australian economy by increasing our ability to compete with South East Asia's dockyards," he said.
The benefits of the new system were illustrated when Tenix staff loaded the 3,000 tonne merchant vessel Pacific Sword onto the turntable. Under the traditional method the ship would have been docked using a single track, closed system, which inhibits the servicing of more than one ship at a time. Similar in principle to a locomotive turntable, the new ship turntable enables the dry transfer of ships between several refit berths and the shiplift, significantly increasing the operating capacity, efficiency and flexibility.The 90 metre turntable operates on a slew bearing assembly driven by four hydraulic motors. The turntable itself rotates on steel bogey wheels mounted on rails. The whole assembly travels at a rate of about 1.5 metres per minute allowing for vessels to be transferred between the two existing berths in 15 to 20 minutes.