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Recent LNG carrier repairs

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LNG Industry,

Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM) celebrated its 100th LNG carrier repair back in January 2015 for MOL LNG Transport’s LNG carrier Dukhan. In addition to servicing its parent company, Nakilat’s, sizeable fleet of 61 LNG carriers, N-KOM has undertaken repairs for LNG and LPG carriers from the likes of Maran Gas Maritime, BW Gas, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line), Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (‘K’-Line), Iino Marine Services, Teekay, Far East Shipmanagement, Anglo-Eastern Shipmanagement, Consolidate Marine Management, Pronav and Golar Wilhelmsen’s.

This article will provide an overview of some of the shipyard’s most recent projects, since surpassing this milestone.

Case study: Rasheeda

N-KOM has recently completed a major main engine gas injection (MEGI) retrofit for a STASCo-operated Q-Max vessel, Rasheeda, to run on LNG as an alternative fuel. The modified Q-Max vessel has the world’s first low-speed marine diesel engine that can also run on LNG. Integration and completion work is being carried out at the shipyard, with modifications made using MAN Diesel & Turbo’s proprietary ME-GI (M-Type Electronically Controlled – Gas Injection) system that will help vessel engines meet current and future emissions standards set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

This project is a milestone in Qatar’s standing as a reliable provider of clean energy in a safe and environmentally-sensitive manner and evidence of the country’s proactive approach to the sustainable development of its marine industry. So far the use of LNG as a bunker fuel source in the LNG shipping industry has been applied to conventional steam driven LNG carriers and more recently to dual or tri-fuel diesel electric LNG ships with low pressure injected, medium speed four-stroke diesels.

The use of ME-GI as an alternative will allow a cleaner fuel technology with a significant reduction in environmental emissions, cleaner burning engines with potential to increase mean time between maintenance, provide flexibility of fuel supply to react to market changes and reduced bunkering activities, which in turn will offer operations and marine risk reduction.

Case study: Lusail

Another key project ongoing at the shipyard is for NKY LNG Shipmanagement’s LNG carrier Lusail, involving major repairs to the vessel’s Gaztransport & Tehnigaz (GTT) Mark III membrane cargo containment system. This is the second such repair undertaken by N-KOM following similar Mark III membrane repairs for Pronav Shipmanagement’s LNG carrier Milaha Ras Laffan last year.

A global test was carried out by SGS Korea Co. Ltd (SGS) in the cargo tanks to identify areas for repairs. Cargo tank containment specialist, Gabadi S.L., was then engaged to undertake repairs in three of the vessel’s cargo tanks, followed by a helium test and a final round of global testing to ensure repairs were carried out satisfactorily. Other typical drydocking repairs were also carried out for Lusail, including hull coating works.

Case study: Aamira

The shipyard has also recently completed the installation of a ballast water management system (BWMS) onboard another STASCo-operated LNG carrier, Aamira. The PURIMAR™ BWMS from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) was installed onboard the Q-Max vessel, and the complete mechanical and electrical scope of work was executed within the vessel’s drydocking and repair period at the shipyard. Key aspects of the project were the extensive piping work, which included the installation of approximately 300 spools of varying diameters and lengths, equipment installations comprising of two large skids (approximately 5.5 t) and 2 x 3 t large filter units, as well as the installation of power and control cables termination and breaker with switchboard modifications.

Other repairs

N-KOM has also delivered emergency repairs for a Q-Flex vessel primarily focused on the vessel’s hull, involving the cropping and renewal of the damaged side shell amounting to 180 t of steelwork, deck plating and its attached internals, as well as the vessel’s bulbous bow.

The shipyard also safely completed an intense 72-hour afloat repair for STASCo’s Q-Flex LNG carrier Al Khattiya, which came to the shipyard in a gassed-up condition. Works carried out adhered to the yard’s strict safety regulations, given the vessel’s gassed-up condition. It primarily focused on the renewal of the vessel’s 7.8 t variable frequency drive (VFD) transformer, involving various access cutting, installation of necessary eye pads throughout the passage and using innovative lifting dollies fabricated in-house to manoeuver the equipment through tight areas (i.e. 1 m main switchboard A-60 doorframe). The VFD transformer’s coils were removed from the main switchboard room and the unit was skillfully rigged down from the vessel, and the same process was repeated for the newly coiled unit back into position.

Further developments

Looking at facility developments this year, N-KOM has started operating its brand new Q-Max floating dock, measuring 405 m x 66 m and with a lifting capacity of 120 000 t. This is in addition to the two VLCC-size graving docks (400 m x 80 m and 360 m x 66 m) already in operation since 2011, thus increasing its docking capacity by a further 50% and enabling both the shipyard and its clients greater flexibility in scheduling dockings.

In late 2014, N-KOM signed an agreement with DNV GL to co-operate on future LNG and gas-related projects. DNV GL’s consultancy and certification services will add value to N-KOM’s efforts.

By involving itself in both local and international LNG-related projects, N-KOM is enlarging its footprint as a global LNG solutions provider.

The long-term future is bright for the LNG repair market, as evidenced by a global orderbook of over 100 LNG carriers and reported expansion in both China and India’s regasification capacity in the last year, leading to increasing LNG import volumes into both countries. This bodes well for N-KOM, since it is located at the epicentre of gas production and next to the loading terminals in Ras Laffan, Qatar.

Written by Chandru Rajwani, Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine, Qatar. Edited by

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