The Manchester Ship Canal, although a narrow waterway, cannot be serviced along its entire length by land-based assets. In almost all the major canal maintenance works, key activities are undertaken daily by the self-propelled crane barge, MSC Buffalo. This vessel is 50 years old this year and as part of its on-going survey and certification programme, Briggs Marine Contractors was engaged to lift out the vessel and manage the statutory survey and refurbishment programme.
The MSC Buffalo was lifted from Canada Dock and landed ashore at Briggs Marine’s base to begin the inspection and repair of hull structure, systems and equipment, to meet the survey requirements and maintain vessel certification.
In addition to the survey and inspection process, the vessel was fitted with new propeller shaft seals and the hull was anti-fouled and painted overall. Despite the January weather and its obvious impact on paint application opportunity and curing times, the vessel was returned to the dock, ready for service in less than a month.
After Briggs Marine’s refurbishment, Peel Ports reported that the MSC Buffalo “looks as good as new”.