Noakes is an environmentally responsible shipyard with accreditation from the Defence Department, the RMS and the NSW Environmental Protection Authority.
With the addition of the floating dry dock, Noakes will fully transition the shipyard to the 21st century.
The floating dry dock will allow Noakes to better contain current activity and improve the environment for nearby residents.
Operating a floating dry dock allows the EPA to impose on Noakes a higher standard of environmental protections than they impose on standard shipyards. Not only will the proposed floating dry dock fully comply with these heightened standards – but it will exceed industry best-practice.
Noakes already uses two waste gutters on its slipway, which stops anti-foul, paint and solvents going into the harbour. But slipways can be prone to cracking and leaking - as happened in 2015, when Noakes was fined $15,000 by the EPA. Noakes did not contest the fine and instead committed to improving operations.
The floating dry dock, with the refurbishment, provides an answer to the run-off issue. The dry dock is a self-contained, sealed unit that holds all run-off and pollutants, meaning nothing will leak into the harbour. Moving forward, Noakes will contain all major vessel work to the floating dry dock, and only use the traditional slipway for work on heritage vessels.
Noakes has included cutting-edge sound dampening technology on the floating dry dock, limiting the overall sound output to beneath the current development consent levels. This technology is an innovation that has never before been utilised in Australia's maritime industry.
Without the floating dry dock, much of the current work on larger vessels is tide-dependent. The floating dry dock avoids this situation by allowing Noakes to load a vessel at any time.
Additionally, the floating dry dock is mobile. It means that Noakes can choose whether to bring work to the shipyard at Berrys Bay, or take vessels elsewhere to work on remotely.
Existing environmental laws for boat and shipyards do not put forward any regulations around air quality. With the floating dry dock, Noakes is able to contain the air created from the dock’s activities and ensure it's processed through a water-scrubber and a carbon air filter, eliminating air pollutants.
These improvements are not limited to the work contained within the floating dry dock. Noakes will utilise the air-cleaning technology on the floating dry dock to filter much of the air generated from work performed on the Noakes hardstand.
By bringing the dock into its own water lease, Noakes is not actually increasing its footprint in Berrys Bay. The dry dock will operate fully within the existing working space, under already accepted guidelines.