Timber in transit after Suez Canal blocked

26 April 2021

The impacts of the Evergreen container ship blocking the Suez Canal have been felt as far as Batemans Bay.

World trade was brought to a halt last month when the 400-metre-long ship blocked the world’s shipping superhighway - a vital through route for ships coming to and from Asia and Europe.

The company building Batemans Bay’s new aquatic and arts centre, ADCO Constructions, was waiting on custom-made glue laminated beams from Italy when the canal was blocked.

“Our timber was due to leave the same time it happened, so while it wasn’t on one of the ships stuck in the Evergreen queue, the backlog slowed transit through the area,” ADCO project manager Nick Lyons said.

“We are forecasting it will be two to three weeks later than expected, however we’re not really sure yet what the impact will be.”

The 32-metre “glulam” beams form the exposed trusses spanning over the pool hall. Glulam is made by gluing together small pieces of timber and shaping it.

Mr Lyons said glulam technology was widely used in Europe and had become a commonly used material in aquatic centres.

“We’ve been using it in these type of buildings for years and the Italian manufacturer is the most experienced manufacturer of this type of timber beam,” he said.

As it waits for the timber to arrive, ADCO has reviewed its work program to minimise the impact.

“We just poured our first of the concrete roof areas on which the large plant equipment will sit,” he said.

“We’re pushing forward with the work that we can do.”