Able Seaton

Case Study Overview

ABLE Seaton Port is located in the centre of the UK on the North East Coast close to the mouth of the River Tees and covers 51 hectares (126 acres) including a 10 hectare (25 acre) dry dock (currently wet) – one of the world’s largest. It is capable of handling all types of offshore construction vessels, has significant crane capacity and quays, which have been constructed particularly to suit the requirements of the heavy fabrication industry.

At a glance

  • Location: ABLE Seaton Port, River Tees
  • Plant used: 400T Haven SeaSeven
  • What we did: Southbay Civil Engineering Limited together with its Marine Partner of Choice, Red7Marine completed the construction of two mooring dolphins on behalf of ABLE UK at its Seaton Port facility.

The Challenge

Southbay Civil Engineering was responsible for the construction of two new mooring dolphins, with the project commencing in October 2020. The mooring dolphins were constructed from Red7Marine’s 400t jack-up barge, the Haven Seaseven. Each dolphin consisted of 6no. 1420mm diameter tubular piles which were installed from a piling gate mounted to the side of the barge. The piling gate was fabricated in-house at Red7Marine’s quayside facility in the Port of Ipswich. Further works included the installation of precast units and FRC works to construct the deck. Each structure includes associated berthing facilities in the form of fenders, ladders, bollards and handrails.

The project was delivered throughout the winter months, facing challenging weather conditions and in accordance with a demanding programme to ensure minimal disruption to planned vessel movements. This involved progressing works across both day and night shifts. Significant pre-planning was required throughout the project to ensure materials were safely transported within a live operational environment. This involved transporting materials using a flat barge and supporting tug vessel.

Able Seaton challenge

The Solution

Graham Taylor, Contracts Manager at Southbay Civil Engineering comments: “The site team maintained a collaborative working environment which allowed us to safely progress works in accordance with our clients ongoing operations. This in part was achieved by maintaining a proactive approach to planning all activities.”

Kristen Branford, Managing Director at Red7Marine comments: “As the UK’s Marine Partner of Choice, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide full-turn key marine packages to our clients. Our collaborative working relationship with Southbay Civil Engineering enhances the capabilities we can offer to the marine construction market and leads us to achieving a successful end goal.

Three of our Trainee Barge Masters have also been involved with the project since its inception, working day and night shifts rotationally and moving the barge to various locations to support the project and its timeline.”

Able Seaton solution



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“Great Yarmouth Third River Crossing: The Red7Marine team have played a big part in the success of the cofferdam piling works. Once again, the spirit of cooperation between all involved has been exemplary and this goes a long way towards making life easier for all involved. I would like to pass on my personal thanks to everyone at Red7Marine for your help and I look forward to working with you all again at some point in the future.”

Richard Hayman, Construction Manager BAM Nuttall