In order to compliment the fleet of 8 new drywell hoppers 4 conversions of existing barges in the fleet are also underway. The standard Eurobarge 2801 has already been shortened to 56 metres and has been converted to become a 1000 cubic metre capacity drywell hopper; as has the exisisting 56m 1900 series barge 1903. These barges are already trading on the Thames bearing the names GPS 1601 and GPS 1602.
The third barge to undergo conversion, the 1900 series barge 1905 is currently at the Dockside yard at Ridderkerk where her conversion to become a 1000 cubic metre drywell barge is due to complete on 7th June. Upon completion of conversion, UHP blasting and re-measurement, she will return to the Thames as the GPS 1603.
Immediately thereafter the barge 1904 will enter the Dockside yard for conversion, UHP blasting and class renewal; she is scheduled to renter service as the GPS 1604 in August.
As with the new barges, the carrying capacity of the converted barges has exceeded the design requirement of 1600 tonnes and each will still carry in excess of 1800 tonnes when loaded to maximum draft