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International : Norbain wins major installation for Malta Shipyards
Norbain SD, the UK’s largest distributor of electronic security solutions, has supplied equipment to local installer Alberta for a challenging major contract providing all-round security for the Malta Shipyards, an impressive shipbuilding facility on the Maltese islands.
Situated at the heart of the Mediterranean sea, south of Sicily, Malta has a close relationship with the sea and for centuries has been home to sailing vessels of all types, from the large commercial vehicles of the past to today’s super yachts. The three tiny islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino form the Maltese Republic, which was a staunch member of the British Commonwealth until its independence in 1964.
The shipyards play an important part in Maltese history, going back to when the Phoenicians used Malta extensively as a stopover port. The Romans used Malta as a wintering port and this lay up was used as the vessels overhaul period. The arrival of the knights of St. John brought increased traffic and a significant upgrade in facilities. It was the British, their Navy and technology which later gave absolute prominence to Malta over other Mediterranean shipyards. During the early 1970s, the shipyard was gradually developed into a fully commercial ship repair yard under Maltese management. Today, a major diversified industry has been developed based on the expertise and skills that are part of the islands’ heritage
The shipyards offer modern facilities capable of docking 94% of the world’s fleet and 99.6% of ships trading in the Mediterranean sea. The docks also include seven graving docks ranging from 170m all the way to 360m.
The yard is being upgraded in a major investment programme that will expand and improve its capacity to respond to the requirements of modern owners and operators of some of the world’s finest pleasure craft. The facilities, which employ 1900 people, can cater for anything from minor to emergency repairs and extensive refits on steel, aluminium, timber and GRP vessels. Because of the high value of the vessels and docks equipment, security has been an important consideration.
The contract proved to be an exceptionally challenging one because Alberta was given just one week for the entire installation process. In this period the company installed 6,000m of co-axial cable, both RG-59 and RG-11, and over 3000m of mains cable. Cables were run through galvanised metal conduits or flexible metal conduits for maximum protection from the corrosive atmosphere. In all, over 2500m of metal conduit was used throughout the entire installation. With a workforce of six highly experienced installers, the project began on a Friday and was successfully completed within six working days.
Just one day before all the cabling was in place, the security equipment was brought in for installation under the supervision of Karim Cassar, who carefully directed a team of three qualified technicians.
“The systems had been designed to give total security to the Shipyards and for this reason we installed fixed cameras in order to give a complete general view of the area and dome cameras to zoom in on any unusual activity,” explains Alberta Marketing Executive Duncan Barbaro Sant.
With just two days to go on the contract, Alberta installed 15 VPC9132C/M high resolution cameras, from the Vista Lite range, 10 BH-69 Power Amplifiers and three Vista Power Domes, linked to two Vista VC16Ts-320 Triplex DVR’s and a Vista PVD1500DGe colour monitor.
All of the fixed cameras have been housed in VCMH housings to protect them from the surrounding sea environment. Various direct drive lenses have also been used, ranging from 2.8mm to 8mm, depending on the general view required. The power amplifiers were added to eliminate picture loss as a long distance surveillance capability was needed due to the considerable size of the dry dock.
The job was completed in just seven days with all equipment installed and commissioned to the client’s expectations. Mr. Barbaro Sant says: “The contract provided a considerable and very interesting challenge, which Alberta has been able to meet by utilising a combination of high-quality equipment from Norbain and the valuable expertise of its own staff.”
Six months after the above project was awarded to Alberta, the client’s satisfaction was proven by awarding Alberta with another 16 VPC9132CM cameras and furthermore another four Power Domes. These works were carried out in different locations one of which is The Manoel Island Yacht Yard. This yard offers seven slipways with a total displacement of 450 tons.
The Alberta organisation was established to provide total quality-driven fire safety and security installations that are sensitive to the environment and human needs and yet profit from technological advances. The company is mainly involved in carrying out designs, supply, installation and commissioning and servicing of fire and security systems, including electrical and mechanical design and installation. The present manpower complement is 124, including full time subcontractors.