Moving things along on the Murray

The mouth of the Murray River in South Australia is a busy and vital part of the state and keeping the river connected to the sea is a key part of maintaining the health of this South Australian waterway.

If the mouth of the Murray River isn’t kept open via responsible dredging programs, the health of the water systems and ecosystems further upstream suffer and the effects are felt by residents across the state.

Dredging the sand that can quickly build up at the Murray Mouth and stop freshwater flows is an ongoing challenge. One of the leading maritime businesses charged with dredging in the area is introducing new anchor barges to ensure operations run smoothly.

So far, three anchor barges are confirmed with the potential for two more to be introduced at a later date. The first barge has been tested and commissioned with Penske Australia delivering a DEUTZ engine to power the hydraulic system.

Penske has a long history of selling engines to industries including rail, defence, power generation, agriculture, mining, construction, oil and gas and marine. This latest order saw Penske choose a DEUTZ BF4M1013E engine that could withstand the harsh environment and the heavy workload.

DEUTZ BF4M1013 E engine used to power the hydraulic

“Our customer predominantly dredges sand out of the Murray Mouth and needed anchor barges to help move the dredge around. When they decided to build the first one, they approached us to select an engine to power the hydraulics,” says Rhys Brown, Sales Representative, Off Highway, Diversified Products at Penske Australia.

“There’s a big, box-like engine bay on the deck of the barge and we put the engine in there along with the muffler and everything that the engine needs to run. The helm of the barge is located behind that with wiring and cabling leading to the wheelhouse. There’s also a throttle control sits behind the helm and the rest of the vessel is open so the workers can do what they need to do.”

The vessel in operation on Murray River in South Australia

Penske consulted with DEUTZ to choose the engine best-suited to the location and workload and it was then customised. The radiator was removed due to the engine being placed in a tight-fitting engine bay and the design instead uses cold sea water for cooling.

Stainless steel guarding was built around the front of the engine to protect workers from the belts, pullies and moving parts and the exhaust system was heat-wrapped.

“We weren’t able to run the engine in the workshop before we supplied it to the customer because the engine uses sea water cooling. So, the first time the engine ran after leaving the DEUTZ factory was when it was fitted and tested on the anchor barge,” says Rhys.

“That was a bit of a nailbiting scenario but the engine ran as we expected – without a hitch. We monitored temperatures, cooling flow systems, the hydraulics and the electronic throttle and everything worked as it should.”