Dillinger's steel allows ships to overcome a height difference of 36 m (118 ft)
To reach the Baltic Sea by boat, one has to take the Oder-Havel Canal. The peculiarity of this 250 year old waterway is the difference in the water level of 36 m between the two rivers. Initially, this was overcome using a staircase lock with four chambers. But the limits of this succession of locks were soon reached, so that in 1934 the world’s highest boat lift was put into operation in Niederfinow, north-east of Berlin. However, although its performance is still impressive (more than 14,000 ships and boats per year), it has also reached its limits and is no longer able to meet the requirements of the ever longer and larger freight vessels operating throughout Europe. In these circumstances, the decision was made to build a larger one, conforming to class V of the waterways.
And so the "New Niederfinow Ship Lift" grew up between the old ship lift and the disused lock staircase in a newly created canal section - of course with the most modern control elements and according to the latest regulations.
Although technically very similar to the old structure, a vertical lift based on the principle of counterweight, its numerous glass walls and yellow and blue steel beams give it a much more modern appearance. Moreover, the choice of the colours was also made for educational purposes. Thus, they are used as reference points during the building visits. There are specific colours for moving parts, for fixed parts and, the smaller and more important a component is, the more intense its colour is.
The new facility consists of the upstream waiting basin, the approximately 65 m long canal bridge, the downstream waiting basin and the ship lift itself which is equipped with a gigantic steel trough with a functional length of 115 m and a functional width of 12.5 m at a water depth of 4 m and a lifting height of 38 m. Empty, this trough already weighs more than 2,000 t. Filled with water, it reaches 10,000 t.
Thanks to the considerable dimensions of its trough, the lift (133 m long, 46 m wide and 55 m high) can now accommodate cruisers, freight and containers ships up to 110 m long and 11 m wide. This fulfils the valid European standard and also creates the prerequisite to increasingly shift freight transport to the environmentally compatible and cost-effective mode of water transport. The objective is to reach 4,400,000 t per year.
For this extraordinary installation, Dillinger supplied more than 5,500 t of heavy plate in the grades S355J2/K2+N in thicknesses ranging from 10 to 80 mm, some with tensile properties in the thickness direction Z15 and Z25. Dillinger steels were used for the trough, the pulley supports and the canal bridge.
|Opening date||October 2022|
|Delivered quantity||5,500 t|
|Wall thickness||10 - 80 mm|
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