Canada’s Federal Budget for 2012, released last week provides Canadian $101 million on a cash basis to restore and modernize the Esquimalt Graving Dock.
The Esquimalt Graving Dock (EGD), which was originally constructed in 1927, is the largest solid-bottom commercial dry dock on the West Coast of the Americas. It is located in an ice free harbor on Vancouver Island near gateways to Alaska and the Pacific Rim.
The dock can accommodate vessels up to 100,000 dwt, its dimensions being 357.5 m x 38.4 m (1,200 ft x135 ft). The north landing jetty is 305 m long and contains 10 metres of water (30 feet) at low tide. There is another 305 m of berth frontage at the south landing wharf.
The dock can be divided in two with a caisson and closed by floating caissons ballasted with concrete and sea water. A tunnel on the north side is used to fill and empty the dock and this tunnel connects to separate tunnels enabling each section of the dry dock to fill independently through culverts in the floor.
The property perimeter is fenced and there are reinforced concrete retaining walls bordering the east end. The dock is lit by eight high-mast towers with high pressure sodium lighting fixtures plus standard mercury vapor lighting.
Stabilizer pockets have been built into the concrete walls of the dry dock. This enables cruise ships to extend their stabilizers for inspection, maintenance and repair while in the dock.
The EGD is available to any company or individual on a first-come first-serve basis. All work is carried out by private sector ship repair firms.
The facility is federally owned, operated and maintained and Public Works and Government Services Canada will get the C$101 million to restore and modernize the facility over the next five years.
April 3, 2012