Over the course of a six-week period during the last quarter of 2017, three German containerships docked at Gibdock’s Gibraltar yard for repair work, highlighting the yard’s success in attracting German ship owners.
The containership visits are part of an encouraging general upturn in activity at the Gibraltar yard in recent weeks, Gibdock said.
“Business has been picking up and container vessel owners and operators have been attracted to the yard by our location, close to key trade lanes, as well as by our reputation for quality work and on-time delivery,” explained the yard’s operations director, John Taylor.
The Peter Döhle-owned Rita, Ahrenkiel Steamship’s AS Fatima and the Louis S, owned by Schepers Rudolf Reederei, all spent time in drydock in the fourth quarter for varying maintenance and repair programs.
The 2,785 TEU, 206-meter-long Rita was docked for 14 days in October, for a drydocking schedule that included a total of 11,000 square meters of hull treatment, with blasting over an area of 5,000 square meters; repairs to the sea chests, tailshaft and liferaft cradles; and the removal of the vessel’s propellers and bow thrusters for overhauling.
Ship repair manager for the project, Philip Tsankov, said such extensive hull treatment work alongside other repairs needed careful planning: “The owner required a lot of work in a fairly short time scale, and this was a challenge. We knew from the start there was no scope for delay. We planned the work around the hull treatment and the vessel was redelivered as agreed on time.”
The 1,300 TEU, 166-meter-long AS Fatima arrived in Gibraltar in late October and was primarily docked for work to address a stern tube issue. This required the yard to dismantle and remove the tailshaft and transport it to the workshop, where the propeller blades and blade carriers, as well as the propeller hub itself, were completely overhauled. During the AS Fatima’s 21-day stay at the yard Gibdock also conducted a complete overhaul of the vessel’s main engines.
Schepers’ 3,091 TEU, 220-meter-long Louis S was drydocked in the yard’s dock No 1 for around a week. The container vessel also came in with a stern tube issue, requiring the propeller unit to be dismantled. Ship manager, Juan Pinero, said, “Gibdock needed to manufacture the specific tooling required for the dismantling work so the repairs could be undertaken.” Inside the workshop the Gibdock team worked on the propeller and overhauled the seals, and then refitted components before reinstallation onboard. The yard also washed and painted the vessel’s underwater hull.
Looking to the start of the new year, Taylor said the outlook for early 2018 is shaping up: “Our regular ferry refit season starts soon, and we are getting more enquiries from the offshore market, so the first quarter of 2018 is already looking promising.”
Gibdock said it can accommodate most vessel types trading in the Mediterranean
and Atlantic regions. Its facilities include three drydocks, with lengths of 154 meters x 29 meters, 184 meters x 29 meters and 272 meters x 38 meters. These are equipped with a total of 10 dock cranes with lift capacities up to 45 metric tons. The yard can also utilize its 300-meter-long Main Wharf quay and the 435-meter-long South Mole for alongside repairs. Its purpose-built fabrication area, Pad 1, is also in demand for retrofit scrubber installations, ballast water treatment retrofits and vessel modifications.