Giant ship brings gigantic dry dock to Portland

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PORTLAND — A giant transport vessel has maneuvered the parts of a major new dry dock up the Columbia River to its destination in Portland, where it's expected to hold large ocean-going ships for maintenance.

The 738-foot Dutch heavy-lift vessel Blue Marlin completed the weekend passage late Sunday, The Oregonian reported.

The dock comes in three pieces to be assembled by November, stretching to nearly 1,000 feet long.

The dock was manufactured in China. The company that commissioned it, Vigor Industrial, said it spent $50 million. It'll be installed at Swan Island.

The dock is submersible, the company said: When water is pumped into it, it sinks. Then a vessel goes atop, and the water is pumped out, raising the dock and vessel.

The dock will be put to work on cruise ships and other large vessels, the company said.

The dock was scheduled to arrive in March, but it encountered construction delays. Two ships awaiting maintenance are queued at Swan Island.

The operation marks a turnaround for the company, which sold a nearly identical dock in 2001 to pay off lenders.