Samoco Moves The Landmark Barge Céphée In Belgium
Samoco safely lifted, transported, and installed the symbolic barge in Antwerp, Belgium
April 2024

The Céphée barge, built in 1937 in France, was bought by the Friends of the National Maritime Museum in 1984 from the Antwerp Rhine and Inland Navigation Museum and donated to Antwerp city. Upon closure of the National Maritime Museum this one of a kind barge had to be moved to the Dry Docks, where it will feature at a maritime experience site. 

Samoco, a part of Sarens, rose up to the challenge to move the barge from Jordaenskaai to Droogdokkensite. The team proposed a technical solution for the project. The project was conducted in two phases: 

  • The first part included engineering, construction, and installation of a supporting steel frame around the barge and a wooden frame inside the barge.
  • The second part was engineering and jacking with SCJ50, transport with 12 axle-lines of K25 SPMT, jacking at the new location and moving the barge into a new building with wheelsets at the Droogdokken site, a few kilometers further.

For the first phase the steel and wooden frames were ordered, assembled, and installed around the barge by mid-February. The barge measured 40m x 5,8m x 4m and weighed 90T including 40T steel structure around it.

The second phase began with the jacking of the barge to install the SPMTs underneath. Before transporting the barge,  our team had to make sure the below preparations were in place:

  • Dismantling of concrete wall
  • Removal of protected fencing
  • Street furniture management
  • Removal of fronton of warehouse
  • Installation of steel plates
  • Application for transport license
  • Closing of the road
  • Disconnecting tramlines

With everything meticulously planned the barge was moved to its final destination by the SPMTs  during the night. The barge was then positioned in front of the building and lowered on the jacking system. The SPMTs were removed and the barge was lowered on to our wheelsets. Next the barge was pushed inside the building and lowered on to the concrete ground floor.