Sarens Executes Technically Demanding Lock Installation at Radicatel Quayside in France
Technical Solutions & Engineering Drives Successful Operation in Notre Dame de La Garenne
November 2023

What does it take to manoeuvre through difficult channels of water, clear low bridges, and install massive locks at a busy quayside? It takes the brilliance of Sarens engineering, world-class equipment, and a legacy of success in executing demanding water and land operations. 

From April 28th through May 2nd, 2023, Sarens proved once again what it means to be the leader in innovation and heavy lifting, installing locks at the Radicatel quayside in Notre Dame de la Garenne in Normandy, France. The Sarens Technical Solutions & Engineering team developed and executed this significant project on behalf of client Matière. 

For this special mission, the crew planned to install the CC2800-1 crane on the Karel-Viktor twin barge, which would be coupled longitudinally for installation. The Karel-Viktor was chosen because it had the capacity to transport and install the lock parts while respecting 12-metre width restrictions. The barge also had to be low enough to pass underneath bridges, in some cases with only a 30-centimetre clearance.

The Sarens team was tasked with planning around frequent boat deliveries at the quay, but the biggest challenge would be stabilising equipment during a water-based operation that could include heavy winds and waves. In addition to the twin barge and CC2800-1 crane used to lift the lock parts, Sarens provided BE200 ballast pumps to ensure barge stability during load-in and installation, as well as hydraulic winches to position the barge correctly. 

The engineering challenge facing the team was that loading the crane and lock parts onto an 11,6 metre barge would create low stability conditions, and these would have to be carefully managed via a comprehensive pumping sequence that accounted for every shift in weight during the operation.

All equipment for the operation was delivered to the quayside via truck. Equipment for the barge arrived via 11 transports from Sarens’ yard in Ghent while all other equipment, from SPMTs to load-spreading mats, arrived via 17 transports from the yard in Wolvertem. Mobilisation took one week, with one and a half weeks required for assembling the barges, SPMTs, winches, pumps, and other equipment and later, the same timeframe for dismantling them. Equipment remained onsite for three weeks, in total.

With the equipment and crew ready to go, the Sarens team installed one 100T lock platform and two 50T discs. To install the platform, which measured 23,6 x 3,2 x 7,9 metres, Sarens lifted and crawled for two metres. Installing the discs, which measured 10,3 x 1,8 metres, required lifting and slewing.

The crew had to contend with the wind speeds at quay, which threatened the barge with heavy waves and made it impossible to load the lock parts with the CC2800-1 until they subsided. Four people were involved during preparations, and six were present for installation: four to operate the winches, one supervisor, and one project manager.

Sarens is thrilled to have completed another successful engineering challenge safely and responsibly, and is grateful to our client, Matière, for entrusting us with this important project.