18 Feb 2021

Forty-two extraordinary dockings and unscheduled repairs contributed to A&P Group’s strong performance in 2020 - despite the challenges of operating during a pandemic.

Across all three facilities, A&P’s teams deployed their fast-turnaround response and technical expertise to carry out repair work on vessels in the offshore, ferry, chemicals, dredging and military sectors – some with as little as 24 hours’ notice.

Offshore construction/diving support vessel Rever Polaris, now Boka Polaris, visited A&P Tyne in November for hull repairs and upgrades. Plates were templated, profiled and rolled at A&P’s on-site fabrication facility and a number of smaller welds were also carried out. New structural members were also profiled and fitted to the tanks to provide additional stiffening.

While the vessel was in the dry dock, other works included a full repaint of the hull, sea chests and vertical sides; replacement of the umbilical supports in the dive bell; manufacture of new hot water pipes and removal of the external stairs for steel repairs. The team operated 247 shifts to ensure the undocking schedule was met.

Prysmian’s offshore supply ship Normand Pacific also visited A&P Tyne in 2020 for a complex blend of fabrication, mobilisation and marine work. Due to a tight schedule, A&P began the manufacture of the new 54tonne mezzanine structure, stairs and grillages on site 28 days prior to the vessel’s arrival.

Mobilisation involved multiple contractors on site and stringent consideration of Covid-19 guidance. A number of significant lifts were involved in order to ready the mezzanine for the addition of deck grating, handrails and cable trays, and its subsequent installation on the vessel.

The team also assisted with the installation of the Azipod thruster and a new 120 tonne A Frame lifting system for the vessel’s Searex ROV. The A Frame lift involved all three of A&P Tyne’s dockside cranes and took a full day to complete. Once complete, hydraulic and electrical work was undertaken and more than 300 hydraulic hoses on the offshore crane were replaced.

At A&P Falmouth, the team delivered a comprehensive programme of major steel repairs for containership Samskip Express after she ran aground while sailing to Ireland. A 76 day stay at A&P Falmouth involved extensive repairs to the shell plating and several areas of the ship’s ballast pipework. A&P fabricated temporary support pillars to protect the structure of the vessel throughout the repairs and ensured that work on adjacent areas didn’t take place simultaneously. In total more than 60 tonnes of steel was replaced in seven different areas of the hull.

A&P Tees completed a 63-day repair period including 43 days in dock for harbour maintenance suction dredger UKD Bluefin. Work included a number of component overhauls including the tail shafts, sea valves and draghead as well as numerous steel renewals on its 10 hopper bottom doors and the replacement of the dredge pumps, discharge pipework and launder box.

Other notable unscheduled ship repair projects in 2020 include:

• P&O’s ropax ferry Norbay underwent a dry docking and repair at A&P Tyne with just six days’ notice. During its 12 days in dock, A&P removed, dismantled and cleaned the stabilisers as well as worked closely with P&O’s ship contractor to replace the seals, before the units were re-assembled, filled with oil, tested and refitted. Despite the short programme, A&P also completed a comprehensive array of other checks, steel repairs and renewals including the replacement of 80 hull anodes.

• Isle of Man ferry Ben-My-Chree underwent emergency repairs at A&P Falmouth in September 2020 – all of which were completed ahead of schedule and allowed the vessel to return to service several days earlier than planned.

David McGinley, Chief Executive Officer of Cammell Laird Ship Repairers and Shipbuilders and Atlantic & Peninsula Marine Services said: “Precision planning is a requisite on all our jobs, regardless of whether we have three months’ notice or three days’, particularly as so many of ship repair projects require multiple tasks to occur simultaneously. It’s a combination of our in-house planning resource, flexible and scalable workforce, committed supply chain and on-site facilities that make us so able to support customers like P&O, Prysmian, Ocean Infinity and Rever Polaris in this way.

“While these projects demonstrate the breadth of our capabilities, they also show the tenacious nature of our team and subcontractors, all of whom have had to adapt to working within stringent Covid guidelines. Our achievements in 2020 are all the more impressive because of that.”

PO Norbay Samskip Express 2