A major milestone was reached on 23 February with the semi-launch of the first Triple-E at the shipyard in Okpo, Korea.
In order to make room for completing the next ships, the drydock was filled with water and the partially completed hull towed into the bay. A bulkhead wall sealed off the end to keep this ‘half ship’ dry during the exercise. Fortunately, everything went as planned, and the ship could return to the dock where the final assembly will take place. The ship is well set to be ready for the delivery deadline of 28 June.
The drydock is sealed off by heavy steel walls with a system of ballast tanks which make it possible to open and close the gate. To fill the dock, the gates are opened and the water rushes in at a rate of 2,500 cubic metres of water per minute. It takes four hours before the dock is sufficiently filled, and the gate can be towed away. In the reverse process, a series of pumps empty the drydock again so work on the ship can continue.
Watch this time-lapse video to see how it works.
Maersk – WorldsLargestShip, May 23, 2013