With offshore oil and gas activity picking up in the Caspian Sea region, an Azerbaijan offshore support vessel operator is reactivating several vessels from lay-up underpinned by a series of engineering ‘health checks’ on their diesel engines
Baku-based Caspian Marine Services Limited (CMS) operates a fleet of 26 vessels – which include OSVs, supply ships and tugs – servicing the offshore oil and gas exploration and production sectors across the Caspian Sea region.
CMS brought in UK-based engine service company Royston earlier in 2019 to carry out indepth health checks on a series of GE 16VFDM228 diesel engines on board five of its vessels, which were laid up in the Port of Sunderland in the UK by the previous owner.
Initial investigations into the condition of the power units were carried out and a plan for engine overhauls prepared. Rather than complete the engine work in the UK, the owners decided to tow the vessels to drydock facilities in Baku on the Caspian Sea.
There, engineers travelled from Royston UK to undertake extensive service and repair work, which has seen engines running now on PSVs Khojaly (ex FD Untouchable), Guba (ex FD Unbeatable), Savalan (ex FD Honorable), Murovdag (ex FD Indomitable) and Shahdag (ex FD Incomparable).
The work in Baku, undertaken by a four-strong Royston engineering team, saw engine power packs removed, main and bottom end bearings fully inspected and where necessary, replacement parts fitted. The fuel injection systems were fully stripped and cleaned, and all fuel pumps replaced, before comprehensive timing checks were completed.
CMS maintenance and drydocking superintendent Zaur Ismayilov said “To bring the engines successfully out of lay-up has been quite a lengthy and complex marine engineering project, which needed co-ordinating work on all engine units across thousands of miles. Royston has impressed, drawing on its professionalism, extensive experience and resourcefulness to bring these important assets back into service.”
Royston marine service manager Alex Reilly said “This contract shows our strong experience and capability in engine health checks, diagnostics and repair work.”