Cammel Laird was awarded a major UK Ministry of Defence ship refit contract involving
the mid life extension of the diesel electric powered Oceanographic Research Vessel RMAS Newton, originally built in 1976 by Scotts Shipbuilding Co, Greenock Scotland.
Birkenhead based marine and engineering services company, Ocean Fleets Limited were awarded, after competition a circa $7.5 million prime contract by the UK MoD, to undertake the complete design of the ship life extension package, the development of a detailed specification, the procurement of all new equipment, the competitive tender for a shipyard to undertake the refit package and the project management of the refit itself.
Ocean Fleets Limited awarded the contract for the refit package to Wright & Beyer Ltd, part of Liverpool's Cammell Laird Holdings PLC. The order to supply the three new main propulsion diesel engines had earlier been placed with Ruston Diesels a division of MAN/B&W based in Newton-le-Willows also on Merseyside.
The ship life extension package currently being undertaken by Cammell Laird involves replacement of the existing main propulsion diesel engines and gearboxes, improving reliability and meeting the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) standards on NOx emissions. The three new diesel engines
are Ruston RK215 medium speed units each with an output of 1,360 kW at 1000 rev/min. The A.C. and D.C. generators and D.C. propulsion motors driven by the new engines will
remain unchanged however the main propulsion control system which also encompasses the control of other machinery powered from a constant current loop will be significantly upgraded employing the latest technology.