A high-tech corridor that ends at the bottom of the Baltic Sea

What should have been big news has become a big problem for those involved because of technological advances. TK Elevator (TKE) has built a modern boarding bridge for the Swedish port of Karlskrona, where shipping company Stena Line has a ferry terminal. But bad weather and bad luck meant it ended up at the bottom of the sea – a milestone for the company, which has a factory in Myers, just hours away from reaching Sweden.

The weight of the footbridge is about 110 tons and due to its dimensions it is not possible to assemble it in a Swedish port, so it was decided to make it in El Musel and transport it. It is 45 meters long, 17 meters wide and 26 meters high. The Portuguese vessel 'Wilson Flex II' (88.5 meters long and 14.5 meters wide) which left Gijon on November 8 was responsible for the transfer. But bad weather and the instability of the piece meant that the ship had already had problems in the North Sea, forcing her to make repairs before she could approach the Kiel Canal, and then permanently lose her cargo in the Baltic as well.

The milestone turned out to be a disappointment for the Asturian company and a serious problem that could not fulfill the contract with Stena Line. TKE explained to EL COMERCIO that the affected parties are analyzing what happened and working “to define the best course of action towards a solution”. But customer Stena Line explained to this newspaper that it “did not deliver the bridge to the port of Karlskrona within the time frame specified in the order”. For this reason, “the company has committed to carry out construction this spring”, given the shipping company's significant disruption due to extremely low temperatures and frequent snowfall in the Swedish port. Terminal, even ferries.

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“Insurance Payable”

Once it is clear that TKE will have to provide a new boarding bridge (presumably in May), it remains to be seen who is responsible for the accident. Experts consulted by this newspaper are clear that “as the risk is insured, the insurance will pay for the piece.” Now, whether the seller, the company that transported the piece (in this case the shipping company Wilson Shipping) or the buyer is liable depends on what kind of contract is made between the parties. This unfortunate accident does not overshadow the technological progress represented by the development of the mobile boarding bridge, which allows the terminal to be connected to the boat, adapted to the height of the wave and the movement of the vessel. A big improvement for TKE.

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