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Ferry contracts keep Swedish yards busy

Shiprepair & Maintenance: 2nd quarter 2018Baltic

Two of Sweden’s leading repair yards report the completion of a variety of projects, with regional operators providing good levels of work.

 

Damen Oskarshamnsvarvet, on Sweden’s Baltic coast, is the most northerly yard within the Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) network. Business here has seen some positive trends over the past 18 months, the company reports.

 

Managing director, Flip van der Waal, says: “We have seen a significant increase in volume, partly from increasing volumes within our steel construction activities, but also through a better occupation of our dock during the first four months of the year. The future looks promising as most of our government related customers have plans to electrify their vessels in order to eventually operate in a CO2 neutral way. The expectation is that first conversion projects will be tendered at the end of 2018, or beginning of 2019, and we plan to be active in this market.”

 

Oskarhamsvarvet has recently completed a significant contract for the refit and repair of a Swedish ferry, the 77m long Castella, for Trafikverket, with the yard carrying out the work between November 2017 and April 2018. The scope of work required on the 1980-built Castella included the replacement of the existing wheelhouse with a new aluminium structure, which was fabricated and installed onsite. The yard also handled the design, construction and installation of a new integrated automation and alarm system (IAS), as well as the renewal of the vessel’s four main engines and installation of a new control system for the rudder propellers.

 

The Castella contract also involved overhauling and painting the vessel’s ramps, decks and internal hull. “Damen Oskarshamnsvarvet was very well equipped for this project. The combination of a dedicated production hall for steel works and a separate painting shed is actually unique in the region,” comments van der Waal.

 

Besides Castella, the yard has also received another contract from Trafikverket involving the ferry Karin. In this case the yard will replace the existing four main engines with two new units, and will install a new urea scrubber system, as well as carrying out routine maintenance and repair work.

 

Alongside its ship repair business, Damen Oskarhamsvarvet is busy fabricating storage tanks and cassettes for a nearby nuclear plant. “This contract is a confirmation that we are on track with our plans to capitalise on our specialist steel fabrication capabilities while at the same time consolidating and building our position in the Baltic region as a quality ship repair and conversion yard,” van der Waal continues. “Following a difficult period for our industry, we experienced a positive upswing in the second half of 2017 and given the healthy order book for 2018 we are positive on the short and long-term prospects for the yard.”

 

For another Swedish yard, Oresund Drydocks (ODD), the shiprepair side of the business has been a little more static. According to sales manager, Magnus Malmstrom: “Last year our shiprepair business was very similar in terms of volume. However, due to increased competition, and the fact there were very few conversions, turnover overall was less.”

 

One of the biggest projects of 2017 for ODD was the conversion of two HH Ferries vessels, Tycho Brahe and Aurora. These ships were equipped to run on battery power by ABB while they were berthed at the yard in April and October 2017 respectively.

 

The first notable project for the yard in 2018 involved the ferry Stena Danica, for which ODD installed a complete new glasshouse type bar area, with prefabrication work beginning at the yard in November 2017. Malmstrom adds: “We have a few more interesting projects in the pipeline for 2018, some of which have been confirmed already.”

 

Last year saw some significant investments made at the yard, including the installation of two new cranes on either side of the graving dock, with capacities of 40tonnes and 15tonnes respectively. A major overhaul of the yard’s floating dock was also carried out.

 

In addition, a new office building has been created and staff are being progressively moved over from the old headquarters building so that the process of lengthening the graving dock at ODD can commence. “The need for a larger dock is essential,” Malmstrom concludes.

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