Withstanding the Tide
“The visibility of this project will help educate the industry of the benefits hot-dip galvanizing provides companies that invest in steel equipment placed in marine environments.”
Originally established in 1949 as a fishing company, Petuna Group diversified into aquaculture in 1990 with salmon farming. Although it is the smallest in Tasmania, the company is the largest domestic retail supplier of salmon in Australia.
Over the past 20 years, Petuna’s Rowella marine farm grew from two circular pens to thirty ‘pieced together’ 24-meter pens. With improvements in fish health, operational ability and mechanical advances, it was obvious the farm would greatly benefit from a complete re-design. The farm is in the Tamar River, which has considerable tidal flow, and fed from the ocean, creating a harsh marine environment. The new system would need to withstand the tidal forces and be protected from corrosion. The tides also only allowed a 6-hour window for the removal of the old pens and installation of the new ones. If the pen was not moored off prior to the tide turning, the farm structural integrity would be compromised. Additionally, the site location has minimal flat hard standing ground with tight truck access and construction area.
Based on previous experience with other coating methods, Petuna utilized Valmont Coatings in order to hot-dip galvanize the walkway frames and small components including the lugs and fittings. With a critical timeframe, construction and installation had to stay on schedule to ensure minimal disruption to the fish farm while still working around the tides. Teamwork between the galvanizer, fabricator and Petuna was paramount for this project and its successful completion.