Last year saw a number of offshore vessels visit Gibdock. Most recently the yard has extended its impressive track record in this sector, with the visit of the 5700dwt 3D seismic survey vessel Polar Marquis, operated by Norwegian company GC Rieber Shipping.The Bergen-based offshore shipping company is a repeat customer for Gibdock, having docked several vessels for repair and renewal in the past.
Originally built in 2000, and substantially upgraded in 2014, the high capacity Polar Marquis is well-known in the industry for its ability to deploy 16 streamers. The vessel spent 21 days alongside at Gibdock, between November 24th and December 14th, 2017, for an extensive amount of afloat repair work. This included the removal of several drain lines, which were cleaned using high pressure blasting and refitted, as well as the manufacture and installation of new drain lines, totalling around 14m in length.
Gibdock also fabricated new hydraulic piping and hoses for the vessel and extended the main engine exhaust pipes to enhance air quality on the main deck. Various general repair and maintenance items were carried out while the vessel was alongside.
Ship repair manager, Filip Tsankov, says: “This was a relatively straightforward job for Gibdock, but we are nonetheless delighted to continue being entrusted with high-end, sophisticated offshore vessels like Polar Marquis, and our 420m long repair quay, equipped with two cranes was the ideal place to carry out this work. The vessel was due to start a new charter in January 2018 so there was no margin for delay; but we worked round the clock to ensure that Polar Marquis left the yard right on schedule to the satisfaction of the owner.”
Gibdock is confident that 2018 will see more offshore vessels using its facilities for repair, maintenance and conversion work, further consolidating its market position. “Our strategic geographic location makes us very attractive for offshore vessels that require work before being redeployed, as we can avoid lengthy deviations; but we have also earned a reputation for reliability, which has increased the confidence of owners and operators in this sector in using our services,” says Richard Beards, managing director. “We have been successful not just because of consistent on-time delivery, but also for our record of accomplishment for high quality workmanship and safety, which are issues of paramount concern to most offshore companies.”
In recent years the Gibraltar yard has established itself as the ‘go to’ facility for offshore vessels in the Mediterranean, with a growing reference list involving sophisticated vessels for well-known owners and operators in the sector. A number of projects of this type were handled by the yard during the course of 2017, with one of the most notable being an extensive painting job on the construction support vessel, Normand Reach, for repeat client, Solstad of Norway.
Gibdock continues to invest to upgrade its yard facilities, to ensure the high levels of performance, reliability and safety required by offshore clients. Over the past year the yard has rebuilt its main pumps, refurbished caissons and renewed the slew bearings on one of its 45 tonnes capacity dockside cranes. A further 30-year life extension project for a second crane is expected to get underway in the near future.
The Gibraltar yard is well equipped for offshore projects and is able to accommodate most offshore vessel types trading in the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions. Facilities include three drydocks, with lengths of 154m x 29m, 184m x 29m and 272 x 38m. These are equipped with a total of 10 dock cranes with lift capacities up to 45 tonnes. The yard can also utilise its 300m long Main Wharf quay and the 435m long South Mole including 250m across the docks for alongside repair works.
Gibdock’s purpose built fabrication area ‘Pad 1’ continues to be a success, the yard states, and the offshore segment is one of its main target markets. This facility has been utilised for a number of different projects, including scrubber installations, ballast water treatment retrofits and vessel modifications in recent times.