Now that the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention has entered into force, more shipowners than ever before are actively looking at the installation of ballast water treatment systems onboard their vessels. Gibraltar-based Gibdock has the skills and capabilities, and favourable geographic location, needed to undertake such work efficiently, with minimum vessel downtime periods, during routine drydocking stays. Consequently, the yard has actively geared up to meet increased shipowner demand for high quality ballast water treatment system retrofits and is in active discussions with several potential clients.
Underlining its capabilities in this field, Gibdock has just completed a complex ballast water treatment system retrofit onboard the 179m, 34,500dwt bulk carrier Zambesi. The 2013-built, DNV GL classed vessel, owned by Hamburg-based John T. Essberger, arrived in Gibraltar on June 4th this year for a month long programme of works. The vessel departed the yard on July 5th with its new ballast water treatment installed and ready for commissioning, having spent 16 days in Gibdock’s No. 1 Drydock, and the rest of the time alongside.
Gibdock technicians carried out all the necessary pipework and preparations onboard, before assembling and installing the owner-supplied UV-type ballast water treatment system. The yard worked closely on this project with Aries Marine, a UAE-based specialist in ballast water treatment retrofit engineering, which supervised this element of the drydocking schedule.
Shiprepair manager, Juan Piñero, says, “This was a complex retrofit, and our engineering staff and pipefitting team rose to the challenge magnificently and completed the works to the client’s complete satisfaction. With this project we have gained further valuable experience in ballast water treatment retrofits, which will hold us in good stead for the future, as a growing number of owners look to carry out this type of work to meet IMO requirements.”
Alongside the ballast water treatment retrofit, Gibdock carried out a wide range of repair and maintenance items on Zambesi. This included a total of 2500m2 of blasting and painting on the vessel’s topside and underwater hull areas. The yard also carried out some cargo hold treatments, that involved spot blasting in way of the coamings and upper hoppers.
Mechanical works carried out on Zambesi included the removal and refitting of the ship’s propeller, bonding of seals and the removal of the tailshaft and intermediate shaft. Juan Piñero, says, “This was a very demanding operation as it involved working in a very narrow space. Through careful preparation and planning, our engineers were able to carry out the necessary works successfully within the timescale required.”
Other elements of the scope of work included overhauling the ship’s main engines; ultrasound cleaning of the air coolers; the removal of the windlass for maintenance work in the workshop; overhauling the ship’s mooring winch and sea valves; and carrying out steel repairs in the ballast water tank area.
The John T Essberger Dry Cargo Division operates a fleet that includes self-trimming bulk carriers as well as both geared and gearless container vessels. Gibdock has in recent years achieved considerable success in securing shiprepair work from German ship owners, and the Zambesi contract continues that strong track record.