Dredging and excavation are among the main tasks for the latest multi-purpose work-horse to enter service on Germany’s 98kms long Kiel Canal – the world’s busiest man-made waterway.
The 36.92m long and 11.92m wide floating excavator Griep To II was built at the Schiffswerft Bolle in Neuderben for the German Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV). It has gone into service with the WSV’s Kiel Holtenau office, replacing and upgrading the services offered by its 54 year old, 24.98m long predecessor Griep To.
The crane on the old Griep To lifted up to 13 tons, enough to meet most requirements. When more capability was needed it could be hired in locally The new Griep To II however has a Liebherr Type 8100 crane with up to 100 ton lift capability and a maximum height under hook of 20m above water.
The new boat will be a big advantage during extensive lock work due to begin next year in Kiel Holtenau. Costing €240 million it involves the demolition of the old locks and their replacement with new lock chambers. The two 125m x 22m chambers of Holtenau’s small lock will first be demolished down to their concrete bases and new ones built on the same spot. Then Holtenau’s big 310m x 42m lock chambers will be renovated.
Griep To II displaces about 400 tons and draws 1.4-1.6m. Its propulsion system consists of two Schottel rudderpropellers of combined 780kW supplied by two Deutz TCD 2015 V0M 8-cylinder Diesel engines. There are also three generators on board – a Hatz 4L 41 and Deutz 4 and 8 cylinder units – for a total 467kW. Top speed is 15kms/h or about 8 knots, enabling it to get where it is needed anywhere along the waterway quickly under its own steam.
Like its predecessor, Griep To II will see service on the entire Kiel Canal and on the Kiel Fiord but will also be available to other WSV offices on inland waterways and in coastal areas. In addition to its excavation and dredging work it will be used to install and remove lock gate drive components.
The WSV also lists transport of construction materials, equipment and plant in locks and along the waterway as well as lock repair and canal bank and bed maintenance, the installation of pilings, towing and construction site supply among the future jobs for the versatile new workboat.
Its main task however will be to support operations and help maintain the more than 100 year old locks in Kiel Holtenau. Together with the equally old locks at the southern end of the canal in Brunsbuettel, linking the waterway with the Elbe and also slated for renovation, they handle well over 30,000 ships a year.