By Keith Henderson at March 29, 2011 07:41
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Hovertrans Solutions Pte. Ltd, Singapore, recently announced it will be constructing a 50 tonne payload hoverbarge which is expected to be available for charter from third quarter 2011.

Measuring 34m x 17m, the modular hoverbarge with hover height of 1.8m, will be built by parent company ST Marine. Lift is provided by two MAN 2842 LE201 diesels of 620 kW (831 hp), the hoverbarge can be self propelled by adding two Caterpillar powered ducted fans (air propellers) in modular propulsion units. The engines are all industrial diesels with their own self contained liquid cooling provided by radiator and fan.
The hoverbarge was first developed in the UK in the 1970's by Air Cushion Equipment Ltd., to provide a solution to the problem of heavy lift in difficult terrain in the global oil and gas, and specialist transportation industries.

It is a standard marine barge of steel construction with an air cushion system which enables it to hover exerting a very low ground pressure of around 0.07 bar (1 psi).making it ideal for crossing difficult terrain such as swamps, shallow water, soft mud, sandbars, wet sand etc. In comparison the average human footprint exerts about 0.55 bar (8 psi). When off-hover, it reverts to its ship like characteristics and floats like a normal marine barge.

Hoverbarge works very well where no suitable port is available, whether due to location or in the aftermath of a natural disaster having destroyed the infrastructure, for example earthquake or tsunami. Its application in such circumstances is ideal operating a ferry service from a ship moored offshore to bring in heavy loads and supplies not just to the shoreline but can run up onto the beach to ease unloading.

Hoverbarges cover a range of sizes with payloads of 50 to 2,500 tons and are built using modular construction allowing transportation by truck for local assembly on site, opening up access to inland areas.


Caption: Illustration of Hovertrans Solutions 50 tonne payload Self Propelled Hoverbarge
Image credit: Hovertrans Solutions Pte. Ltd

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