Turkey’s Besiktas Shipyard is now well established as one of the busiest shiprepair yards in the Mediterranean region, handling around 150 projects a year. A large proportion of this workload comprises tanker repairs, mainly MR type tankers, but also Aframax, Suezmax and smaller short-sea tanker types.
Last year saw a significant increase in the number of tankers docking at the yard, with Besiktas repairing 64 tankers in 2021, up from 55 in 2020.
As well as this increase in volume, the yard has seen some significant trends in the type of work being commissioned by tanker owners. As commercial manager Gündem Gümüşkaynak explains: “Shipping over the next decade will be dominated by the trend towards decarbonisation and the use of green energy, among other environmentally inspired installations. In this respect we are already seeing more BWTS retrofits, mewis duct installations and special coating applications within our tanker work scopes and this will continue.”
Besiktas also has extensive experience in carrying out tank upgrades and one of the most notable projects completed last year involved the application of the Marineline cargo tank coating for a chemical tanker, in a project that also included fitting a new Alfa Laval PureBallast Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS), rated at 600m3/hr, with a deck house and overhauling the MAN9L32/40 main engine.
On the tanker’s cargo tanks, full SA2.5 blasting and Marineline coating application were performed over a total area of 9800m2. Beforehand, chemical washing was carried out and, after two blasting cycles, three coats of Marineline, developed by Advanced Polymer Corporation (APC) of the US, was applied, including two full and one stripe coats.
Spot surface treatment on the main deck was also performed while the vessel was in the shipyard and this included rotating nozzle washing at 650bar over a 1000m2 area. Afterwards, a total of three coats of paint were applied.
Besiktas Shipyard is currently the only shipyard in Turkey with three docks, the largest measuring 382m x 58m, and over 2500m of repair berth in the same facility. This makes it highly attractive for tanker owners, giving the yard plenty of capacity and the flexibility to accommodate tankers of differing types.
A significant programme of investment is underway which is expected to further strengthen the yard’s capabilities with respect to the tanker markets. Gümüşkaynak says: “We are planning to extend the capacity of our facility with additional infrastructure, including purchasing a new Aframax floating dock, extending the layby berth facilities and the establishment of new in-house workshops. Once the new Aframax floating dock is operational, we will be the only yard in the region which can dock two Suezmax and Aframax tankers simultaneously. Having such a high level of dock slot flexibility will have a positive influence on ability to widen our customer portfolio.”
Last year Besiktas Shipyard also completed preparations to enter the LNG repair sector with the establishment of a cryogenic workshop and the delivery of the required staff training. Gümüşkaynak adds: “We have in fact already hosted the first LNG ship in the yard - the first in Turkey to do so - and we have more projects on the way. We are also the only yard in the region that provides in-house authorised workshop services such as ABB turbochargers and Woodward governors included with the cryogenic workshop for LNG repair activities.”