Protecting the new mobile passenger boarding bridge in the Port of Bilbao Passengers

Passengers using the new cruise terminal at the Port of Bilbao in Getxo can now walk with ease across a structure designed to withstand the most adverse conditions.

The new passenger terminal in the Port of Bilbao has been fully operational since last March and hopes to become a benchmark for cruise traffic in Europe. The structure was first used with the liner ‘Britannia’, a perfect vessel for a premiere of this type, given its large size.

The mobile boarding bridge is one of the most crucial aspects of the new terminal and requires state-of-the-art equipment in order to fulfil the delicate job of uniting a stationary fixture, such as the passenger terminal, with a mobile item, in this case the ship. The structure is similar to air-bridges at airports but includes vertically mobile parts to accommodate changing tides as well as any unpredictable movements made by the ships themselves. As a result of the bridge, passengers can embark or disembark safely and in total comfort, even in the most adverse weather conditions. High quality finishes and interactive information systems make the experience of using the bridge more enjoyable.
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This pioneering feat of engineering, with two tunnels and three modules, was built by Prosertek and has built-in systems and controls that optimise energy efficiency, thus also endowing it with high environmental performance. The most pressing need for a structure of this type is to be protected from the harsh weather conditions that the Bay of Biscay can subject it to, and for that reason Prosertek turned to Hempel in search of the most satisfactory solution, bearing in mind the bridge’s unique characteristics. Applicators were Cabipint, Reinnor and RA Mendieta, who worked in close collaboration with Prosertek to ensure that a project of this magnitude was given the best possible treatment.

To protect this unique boarding bridge, the system chosen consisted of a 60-micron layer of Hempadur Zinc 17360 as primer, the two-component epoxy that provides excellent protection of steel surfaces exposed to severely corrosive environments. As the intermediate coat, 180 microns of Hempadur Quattro 17634, a thick layer epoxy, were applied, followed by an 80-micron topcoat of Hempathane HS 55610, our decorative polyurethane enamel with long-lasting colour and gloss retention.


As a result of the above system, the boarding bridge is perfectly protected against all kinds of weather to ensure that it maintains its full splendour over many years of service welcoming cruise passengers to the enchanting city of Bilbao.

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