Damen Shiprepair Brest completes rapid repairs to LNG Carrier Methane Princess
Over four days in January, Damen Shiprepair Brest successfully carried out repairs to the hull of the 266-metre, 138,000m³, LNG Carrier LNG Methane Princess. In order to achieve this in the minimum time it was done while the vessel was both afloat and with the cargo tanks holding either some liquefied gas and gas vapour, the company said in its release.
The damage, which occurred above the waterline on the aft starboard side, was the result of a collision with a harbor tug while berthing at the Punta Europa LNG Terminal (EG LNG) in Equatorial Guinea. She then proceeded to the Milford Haven (UK) LNG terminal to offload. The Class association required immediate repairs and issued to the vessel an extension to the LNG Methane Princess’s Class certificate which made her ineligible for charter until the damage was made good. It was therefore vital that the works were completed as soon as possible. To achieve this, the owners requested that Damen Shiprepair Brest (DSBr) perform the hot work repairs with the vessel afloat and with residual gas in the tanks so as to keep them cool. By doing so, the vessel could return to work almost immediately without the usual 3 to 4-day cooling down process.
Ahead of her arrival, meetings were held with the client and the safety and control procedures prepared. Once she was alongside, several controls were performed by a Shore-certified chemist to identify the various risk areas and certify that the hot work area was safe before starting. The yard team then constructed a platform against the side of the vessel side, held in place by eyes welded on to the hull, and the work went ahead to remove and replace the damaged steel. Once the welding and the necessary tests and certification by the Class were completed, the hull area was painted.
The professionalism of the Damen team and its long experience of working with gassed-up LNG carriers was key to the success of the project. The controlled tests coordinated by the yard and the port authorities prior to the work starting also ensured that no risks were taken at any time during the operation.
This was not the first visit by the LNG Methane Princess to DSBr. The previous September she was at the yard for a scheduled intermediate survey that included a full scope of work on the engines, cargo tanks and related equipment. Owner Golar LNG and DSBr have a relationship going back to the 1980s when the fleet operated under the Gotass Larssen name. After a quiet period in recent years the partnership has been rekindled and discussions are underway regarding a variety of projects. The LNG Golar Arctic is already booked in for H1 2019, and the management and staff at DSBr look forward to seeing more Golar carriers in their yard in the years ahead.
In recent years, LNG Carrier maintenance has been concentrated in the Far East, where LNG demand was then concentrated. However, demand is returning to the North Atlantic as terminals for both exports and imports open on both sides of the ocean. Damen has been investing in its yards to meet the anticipated demand, with Damen Shiprepair Brest a leading contender due to both its long experience in the sector and its convenient location.
Damen Shipyards Group
Damen Shipyards Group operates 36 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 12,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6,500 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers around 175 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology.
Damen offers a wide range of products, including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and superyachts.
For nearly all vessel types Damen offers a broad range of services, including maintenance, spare parts delivery, training and the transfer of (shipbuilding) know-how. Damen also offers a variety of marine components, such as nozzles, rudders, winches, anchors, anchor chains and steel works.
Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) has a worldwide network of eighteen repair and conversion yards of which twelve are located in North West Europe. Facilities at the yards include more than 50 floating (and covered) drydocks, including the longest, 420 x 80 metres, and the widest, 405 x 90 metres, as well as slopes, ship lifts and indoor halls. Projects range from the smallest simple repairs through Class’ maintenance to complex refits and the complete conversion of large offshore structures. DSC completes around 1,300 repair and maintenance jobs annually, both at yards as well as in ports and during voyage.