It may be a tough market for shiprepair yards right now, but that has not stopped some of the big names in the industry embarking on large, and occasionally ground-breaking, projects
Recent months have seen Damen Shiprepair & Conversion busy completing drydockings, repairs and maintenance work on vessels that support offshore oil, gas and renewables projects worldwide. These projects have included work on seismic survey vessels, a dredger and a semi-submersible crane and pipelaying vessel.
In October 2018, Damen Shiprepair completed a tandem drydocking of two seismic survey ships at its Amsterdam shipyard, in the Netherlands. This was for a series of repairs and upgrades to the vessels, notably to the propulsion and seismic equipment, prior to them conducting new surveys for offshore oil and gas explorers.
Seismic vessels Oceanic Sirius and Oceanic Vega entered Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam in the final week of October 2018 for this tandem drydocking. They departed these facilities on 4 November. By 10 January 2019, both 2011-built Oceanic Sirius and 2010-built Oceanic Vega were shooting seismic surveys in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Tampico, according to MarineTraffic.
Damen Shiprepair upgraded the propulsion systems on Oceanic Sirius and Oceanic Vega
These are twin SX120 type, 12,550 gt seismic research vessels of 106 m in length and with a breadth of 28 m. They were built by Ulstein Verft in Norway to an Ulstein design and are owned by CGG Eidesvik Ship Management, which is a joint venture between Eidesvik Offshore and geophysical specialist, CGG.
Damen Shiprepair conducted a 10-day maintenance programme on these vessels. They were in the shipyard’s 250-m drydock number 4 in a tandem arrangement, to maximise the efficient use of resources for eight days.
During that period, engineers conducted a series of repairs and upgrades, while other staff were busy cleaning and repainting the hulls. For maintenance and repair on the propeller nozzles of both vessels, Damen erected a tenting area around the propellers. This meant engineers were able to undertake the work without interrupting or delaying the paintworks. This helped minimise the time that these two survey vessels spent at the shipyard.
CGG Eidesvik Ship Management has a longstanding relationship with Damen Shiprepair for vessel maintenance work. It stationed a team at the Amsterdam shipyard to oversee the repair and maintenance work. It said that “the crew and staff members from Oceanic Vega and Oceanic Sirius were pleased with the mutual co-operation and impressed by the quick response on several repair items related to the seismic equipment on board. The safety level and culture were also up to both parties’ expectations and standards.”
In another project, Damen Shiprepair’s facilities in Rotterdam are upgrading systems, particularly the dynamic positioning (DP), of one of the largest semi-submersible crane and pipelaying vessels in the world.
Damen Verolme Rotterdam is working on the systems of Saipem 7000* to ensure that it will comply with the new closed-ring DP3 configuration and ABS EHS-P notation. These will give the vessel four independent redundancy group systems.
Together with vessel owner Saipem, Damen is working to execute the work scope which also includes upgrading and modifying the vessel’s power system for load sharing, installing control, medium- and low-voltage cables, medium- and low-voltage switchboards and motor control centres, uninterrupted power supplies and creating an A60 compartment. The work is estimated to take around six months and is expected to be completed in Q1 2019.
Saipem 7000 is managed by Saipem Offshore Norway. It can undertake a wide range of offshore construction work, including pipelay in depths greater than 2,000 m and heavy-lift operations of up to 14,000 tonnes.
It has an overall length of 197.95 m, with upper platform dimensions of 175 m x 87 m x 8.5 m and lower pontoon dimensions of 165 m x 33 m x 11.25/15.25 m. Free deck area is 9,000 m2 with a load of 15,000 tones. The vessel is propelled by 12 fixed-pitch, variable speed thrusters and has a transit speed of 9.5 knots.
The DP upgrade, coupled with accommodation capacity of 725 people, will enable Saipem 7000 to assist hook-up and commissioning activities and initial platform life support. This is on top of its heavy-lift and pipelaying capabilities.
Damen Shiprepair said the six-month upgrade programme “represents a tight schedule, mainly due to the delivery and installation of the cables, the switchboards and the extensive structural modifications.”
Elsewhere, Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque recently completed a ground-breaking project to convert the propulsion systems on dredger Samuel de Champlain. In Q4 2018, the company began changing the engines from diesel-electric-burning gasoil to dual-fuel capability, using LNG as the main fuel for low-emissions dredging.
Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque and Alewijnse upgraded dredger Samuel de Champlain
Work on this trailing suction hopper dredger involved the installation of two LNG fuel storage tanks on the hopper deck. Damen also replaced three existing diesel generator sets, two main and one auxiliary, with three dual-fuel generator sets. The machinery spaces, cooling systems and various piping had extensive modifications. The vessel arrived in Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque in October 2018 for three months of work.
Alewijnse Marine was heavily involved in the electrical conversion of Samuel de Champlain. It undertook months of engineering and studied potential harmonics pollution in preparation for the electrical conversion. Alewijnse was also involved in upgrading the electrical distribution, command, control and security systems.
“Damen recently completed a ground-breaking project to convert the propulsion systems on a dredger from diesel-electric-burning gasoil to dual-fuel capability”
This team dismantled the old equipment and installed new cabling; it upgraded the power management system and the alarm and monitoring system and replaced the fire alarm system. Alewijnse supplied and installed ATEX lighting in the gas zones, upgraded the CCTV system and introduced new soft starters for the jet pumps (550 kW/6.6 kV each) and bow thruster (900 kW/6.6kV).
Damen Shipyards Group operates 35 shipbuilding and repair yards and employs 12,000 people worldwide. Damen Shiprepair has a worldwide network of 18 repair and conversion yards, of which 12 are in Europe. Facilities at these yards include more than 50 floating and covered drydocks, slopes, ship lifts and indoor halls. It completes around 1,300 repair and maintenance projects each year at its shipyards, in ports, or during voyages.
Conversion and upgrades
Houston-based Hydra has converted the inspection, maintenance and repair vessel Subsea Responder into a diving support vessel (DSV) as it anticipates an improvement in demand for such operations.
Hydra plans to expand its services from operating remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) by entering the saturation diving market with this DSV. It fitted a SAT-14 12-person diving system on Subsea Responder, allowing for longer in-water working time and greater depths of operations than surface diving would permit.
Hydra project manager Brent Sappington explained why Subsea Responder was ideal for conversion. “As an inspection, maintenance and repair vessel, it already had existing equipment and a 60-tonne active heave compensated crane,” he said. Subsea Responder can accommodate 57 people, has a DP2 class and can carry a heavy work-class ROV.
Later this year, McDermott International will begin work converting offshore construction vessel Amazon to undertake ultra-deepwater J-lay pipelay operations. Amazon’s existing tower will be replaced with a J-lay system, with 1,500 tonnes of dynamic top tension on its tower. This will enable the vessel to install large subsea structures and hex sections of pipeline from 12-60 cm in depths of nearly 3,500 m.
An integrated multi-joint facility, where single joints can be welded into hex joints, will be installed on the vessel, reducing reliance on the shore base. Dual pipe-loading cranes and an additional 5 MW of power generation will also be added.
Netherlands-based Royal IHC will design and build the J-lay system and manage the project. Amazon is scheduled to be delivered to IHC in August 2019 and conversion is expected to take 10 months, with redelivery of the vessel expected by Q3 2020. The project is to be funded by an increased bareboat charter rate over an extended 12-year term, following completion of the modifications.
Royal IHC affiliate Vuyk Engineering has also provided designs to Hebo Maritiem Service, which plans to upgrade Hebo Lift 2 into a sheerleg unit. This will involve the installation of a new A-frame capable of performing complex lifting operations.
Hebo expects this A-frame will enable the vessel to lift 1,000 tonne objects. It then intends to upgrade the jib on Hebo Lift 2 to provide more height and outreach for the lifting equipment. Vuyk Engineering Rotterdam was selected to design the lifting appliances and devise modifications to the vessel.
Keppel Shipyard has secured a contract to modify a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel with a new aft hull unit. Keppel Shipyard will be responsible for the design of the aft hull, procurement of equipment, fabrication, outfitting, integration and commissioning work on board the existing FPSO.
The installation will also include a new accommodation block that can accommodate up to 140 personnel. The unnamed FPSO arrived at the shipyard in Q4 2018 in preparation for the upgrade. Construction and installation work is scheduled to commence in Q1 2019 and the completed FPSO is scheduled to be redelivered to the owner by the end of 2020.
New yard and new CFO for Middle East shiprepair
A new offshore support vessel and drilling rig repair facility is under construction in Saudi Arabia. International Maritime Industries (IMI) has contracted Power Construction Corp of China (PowerChina) to construct the King Salman International shipbuilding and repair complex.
This facility is expected to be completed and ready to receive vessels for repair, conversion and upgrade from 2020. According to IMI chief operating officer Yi Seong Kang, the shipbuilding complex will be the largest full-service maritime facility in the Middle East and will compete with the largest shipyards in Asia for orders. IMI is a joint venture owned 50.1% by Saudi Aramco, 19.9% by Saudi shipping group Bahri, 20% by drilling rig builder Lamprell and 10% by Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Sahar Ataei joined ASRY has chief financial officer in December 2018
Also in the region, Bahrain-based Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY), has appointed a new chief financial officer and started to implement a corporate strategy to improve sustainability and efficiency. Sahar Ataei was appointed as CFO in December 2018. She has 19 years with Bahrain’s national airline Gulf Air, most recently as the CFO.
ASRY’s board of directors decided in Q4 2018 to begin multiple initiatives to reduce the company’s costs and to improve the efficiency of its various services. ASRY is taking practical steps to enhance safety, health and environmental protection.
Part of this strategy involved the appointment of a new CFO with deep financial knowledge and an understanding of the critical role the company plays in Bahrain’s economy, said ASRY chief executive Andy Shaw.
* Saipem 7000 particulars
Manager: Saipem Offshore Norway
Type: semi-submersible crane and pipelaying vessel
Length, oa: 197.95 m
Upper platform: 175 m x 87 m x 8.5 m
Lower pontoon: 165 m x 33 m x 11.25/15.25 m
Free deck area: 9,000 m2
Deck load capacity: 15,000 tonnes
Heavy lift: up to 14,000 tonnes
Pipelay water depth: 2,000 m
Dynamic positioning: DP3, ABS EHS-P notation
Propulsion: 12 thrusters
Transit speed: 9.5 knots
Accommodation: 725 people