Solstad Offshore vessels converted by GibdockVessel & ROV News // April 22, 2010
Normand Trym entering Gibdock’s covered drydock.
Normand Trym and Normand Vibran alongside one another.
Solstad Offshore is redeploying two PSVs to service Brazil’s offshore rig market for Petrobras, after completion of a major conversion project at Gibdock.
The four week project saw the 2006-built Normand Trym (3,326 dwt) in drydock and the 2008-built Normand Vibran (3,376 dwt) alongside at the Gibraltar yard, in order that mud tanks on each vessel could be converted to store 1500m3 of fresh water storage, with other tanks converted for 800m3 of fuel oil carriage.
At time of writing, the 74m long by 16m wide UT755 LN vessels were en route to Brazilian waters.
“We have undertaken routine repair work for Solstad in the past, building up a solid relationship with a high value client,” said Richard Beards, Gibdock Commercial Director. “However, this is the first time we have undertaken one of their conversion projects."
“This was an extensive job in terms of planning and complexity, while limited access to tanks made welding challenging and restricted the number of men on board at any given time, dictating the pace of work.”
Solstad UK Technical Manager Malcolm Rosie explained the key considerations in selecting the Gibraltar-based yard. “Gibdock was chosen to carry out this work as they offered a very positive attitude to the project, were in a good location en route to Brazil and had competitive rates,” he said.
As well as general steelwork, the job included installation of steel tank floors, which were prefabricated by Gibdock in order to minimize the need to weld in position. A 600mm cofferdam arrangement needed to be built into the tank bottoms on both vessels to satisfy class requirements.
All converted tanks were blasted and coated, with a specialized 500 micron thick Sigma paint applied in a single operation. The job also saw the No:1A ballast water tank (Forepeak Tank) blasted and coated for carriage of fresh water.
Gibdock vessel superintendent Steve Davis said that the modernization of existing pipe and valve work and the installation of new pipe work for fresh water carriage proved a demanding task, involving galvanization. “These are sister ships, but it is fair to say that the pipe work on board Normand Trym was more complex than was the case with Vibran,” he said.
“This type of conversion project is not common, either in general or for Gibdock,” Mr Davis added. “As well as the extensive pre-planning and pre-fabrication, it required considerable adaptability to deal with the structural work.”
“Of course, during the conversion/dry-docking there are always challenges, and any that did come about were dealt with in a very professional manner by Gibdock to the satisfaction of both Solstad and the Classification Society DNV,” said Mr Rosie. “The quality of work and flexibility to resolve any technical challenges by Gibdock was excellent and the project was completed on time and on budget.
In addition to the above work, Gibdock carried out Normand Trym’s scheduled dry-docking at the same time. On completion of the conversion project, considerable attention was paid to ensuring that all signage on board both ships would meet Port State Control conditions for operating in Brazilian waters.
“The fact that both vessels were redelivered before deadline and under budget stands us in good stead to bid for future Solstad conversion work,” said Mr Beards.
Mr Rosie added: “We would not hesitate in using Gibdock for any modification work/dry-dockings for our fleet in the future.”