Repower: Bringing New Life To Older Vessels

Friday, October 12, 2001
By Bill West, contributing editor The decision to repower a vessel is a multi-faceted one, and it can be safely assumed that no two decisions in this arena are exactly the same. Whether it's a crewboat that needs new power units to accommodate a new scope of operation; extending the life of an old, but otherwise stable boat; a rip and refit to replace under performing engines; or as a simple factor in the overall vessel conversion equation - the decision to install new engines on a vessel entails a significant financial investment for the owner. This year has seen a number of significant and unique marine repowerings. The vessels covered in this report are unique in that they range from a 149-passenger tour boat to an 846-ft. long military freighter powered by gas turbine engines.

Also unique is the extent of the work mandated for each vessel, as repower jobs often require a well-thought engineered solution for matters from determining the best mechanical solution to physically getting the old unit out and the new one in.

USNS Lance Corporal Roy M. Wheat Certainly the largest, costly and most complex of these four projects is the USNS Lance Corporal Roy M. Wheat. This vessel has been at Bender Shipbuilding and Repair for the last four years and because of its size the ship has become almost a permanent landmark on the Mobile, Ala. skyline.

The 746-ft. by 98-ft. vessel was built 14 years ago in the Ukraine as a RoRo freighter. Purchased in 1997 by the Military Sealift Command, the vessel is slated to become a part of MSC's Maritime Prepositioning Force carrying enough equipment and supplies to equip a marine division.

After arrival at Bender, the freighter had a 118-ft. midbody section added and since then the vessel has been significantly upgraded including replacement of its original Ukrainian gas turbines with upgraded engines by the same manufacturer, Zorya Production Associates. These engines are heavy-duty marine grade gas turbine power plants that operate similarly to aircraft engines. The engines produce 18,000 hp each. Because gas turbine engines produce great amounts of waste heat, this heat is used to fire steam turbines that also connect into the reduction gear producing an additional 5,300 hp per shaft. The total hp of 23,300 per engine can propel the fully loaded freighter to 24-27 knots. Several other power plants on the ship were either overhauled or replaced. Wärtsilä overhauled the bowthruster powered by a Wärtsilä engine at its Ft. Lauderdale facility. A Kamewa stern thruster was added driven by a 650 kW electric motor. The project also called for reworking three diesel engine gensets powered by existing Sulzer engines. New KATO Engineering generator front ends were added to these three gensets. To meet added demands for electrical power due to increased air conditioning and ventilation loads, a pair of Caterpillar 3516B gensets was added to the ship, each generating 1,825 kW of electric power. Rounding out the power needs of the Roy M. Wheat is a Caterpillar 3508B producing 850 kW of emergency power. The vessel is one of a very few that utilizes the four main methods of ship power…steam, electric motor, diesel engine and gas turbine. The vessel is due to be completed by the end of the year at a cost of over $134 million. This project represents Bender's largest single ship contract. It also represents a significant achievement for Bender. For example vessel documentation was in Russian that had to be translated. Bender's Engineering Department had to totally reengineer much of the vessel since it was changed significantly with the addition of the midbody section and other additions such as the topside forward and aft enclosed "houses" to store additional cargo.

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Marine Propulsion

Horizon Delivers 4th 74’ Towboat for Canal Barge Co.

Horizon Shipbuilding, Inc., Bayou La Batre, AL, has delivered the fourth in a series of 74’ towboats to Canal Barge Company, Inc. of New Orleans, LA.    The Jane

ClassNK Holds LNG Fuel Technologies Seminars

ClassNk held LNG-Fuelled Vessel Technologies seminars in Shanghai and Singapore on 22 July and 24, July 2014, respectively. With the industry looking to adopt

Eliminating Cat Fines to Marine Diesel Engines

One can assume that P&I Clubs and shipowners would be very interested in preventing catastrophic Cat Fines damage to diesel engines. Cat Fines have been damaging

Finance

Coast Guard Responds to Grounded Freighter in Lake St. Clair

The Coast Guard has responded Sunday to a 656-foot freighter that was hard aground in the downbound shipping channel of Lake St. Clair. Initial reports indicate

Leighton HY14 net margin Up to 2.7%

Leighton Holdings announced its results for the six months to 30 June 2014.   * Total revenue of $11.9 billion, up on HY13 * EBITDAiii of $843 million. Comparable EBITDAiv of $945 million,

LNG to Acquire Bear Head LNG Project in Canada for US$11 mi

Liquefied Natural Gas Limited today announced that it has significantly expanded its presence in the North American Liquefied NaturalGas (LNG) sector by signing

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1113 sec (9 req/sec)