Thordon Bearings’ supplier TZ Industrias supplied, machined and installed a 230-mm bearing to the tanker crane’s hydraulic arm during drydocking in Mexico’s Veracruz Shipyard
Mexico-based TZ Industrias has replaced the deck machinery bushing aboard Caroil Transport Marine’s oil tanker Petion with ThorPlas-Blue, marking Thordon Bearings’ first large commercial vessel project in the country.
Cyprus-based Caroil Transport Marine operates a fleet of oil tankers operating between the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Curaçao and the Bahamas.
Thordon’s grease-free material replaced a competitor’s spherical split bearing on the 72,714-dwt vessel’s deck crane during a recent drydocking at TNG Veracruz Shipyard, Mexico’s largest ship repair facility.
According to TZ Industrias managing director Arturo Selvas, the old bearing was delaminating due to a combination of excess grease, humidity and salt erosion. “The bearing was operating in a very harsh working environment and as a result the existing bearing was in poor condition,” he said.
After providing samples of Thordon’s proprietary polymer materials and discussing the proven performance of such a bearing in this type of application, the yard decided to retrofit the ThorPlas-Blue system during the vessel’s March 2021 drydocking.
As part of a turnkey contract, TZ Industrias supplied, machined and installed a 230-mm fully finished bearing to the crane’s hydraulic arm.
“We had a very short window to complete the job,” said Mr Selvas. “Another challenge was to replicate the spherical shape of the split bearing and its load capability. Using the original bearing as a template, we were able to machine the ThorPlas-Blue tube at our factory in Coatzacoalcos and get the new bearing installed and commissioned within the limited time frame.”
He added, “It was a unique project for us. We previously supplied Thordon products to the yard but these were installed on smaller vessels, workboats and patrol boats. This is the first time we have worked on a merchant vessel of this size. It is our first tanker so we hope this ship type becomes a regular thing for us.”
The Veracruz Shipyard, the only facility in Mexico capable of drydocking large commercial vessels of 269 m in length and 36 m beam, is equipped with four drydocks, two repair berths and myriad machining and mechanical workshops.
Veracruz Shipyard project leader Antonio Flores said “We have worked with TZ Industrias on three projects over the past two years. The support we received from them gave us the confidence to partner with the company again for larger, more demanding projects. It also provided the opportunity for Caroil Transport Marine to switch from
an unreliable and costly greased bearing to a more environmentally acceptable solution. We found ThorPlas-Blue delivers superior performance in this type of application.”
Thordon Bearings regional manager – North America Jason Perry said “This project represents a huge step forward for TZ Industrias and it really opens up the commercial market in Mexico for Thordon Bearings. TZ has made huge inroads with different companies and different markets.”
He commented that the elimination of grease in crane bearings reduced operational and maintenance costs for the owner.
Did you miss the latest series of the free Tanker Shipping & Trade Webinar Week webinars? Register here to access all the webinars in the Riviera webinar library.