A&P Falmouth has had a very busy first quarter to 2012 working on 34 projects including six ferries, four of which were from P&O, tankers, MOD vessels, offshore supply vessels, tugs, barges and manufacturing the first wave energy device to go onto the FabTest site in Falmouth Bay. These projects included:
A&P Falmouth’s planning and round-the-clock working has ensured P&O Cruise’s newest ship, Adonia, left Falmouth a day ahead of schedule in January.
The 30,000 tonne ship arrived in the port in the early hours of Sunday, January 8th for unscheduled repairs in dry dock at A&P. She docked at 2.30am and work began at 6am, as soon as the dock was dry. To accommodate the vessel A&P managed to re-shuffle other vessels, with the approval of their owners.
With just four days allowed to complete the essential maintenance before Adonia began an 87-night world cruise on Friday, January 13th, it was all hands on deck at the busy yard.
Peter Child, Managing Director of A&P Falmouth, said: “We gave a major commitment to complete the work within the four day window and we are delighted to say the work was finished and Adonia sailed for Southampton a day ahead of schedule.
“This is partly because we had around 60 of our highly skilled staff working on the job 24/7, and partly because we worked extremely closely with P&O and Adonia’s crew, who were a credit to the ship. Everybody involved was pleased to see the ship sail out of Falmouth early and we hope to be seeing P&O Cruises as returning customers in future.”
A&P’s Falmouth yard has been working on an exciting project to build full scale steel structures to resemble parts of naval warships.
These structures form replica parts of Type 23 frigates and Type 45 destroyers – as part of a new land based training facility to safely teach sailors how to transfer vital supplies from ship to ship while at sea.
The 170 tonne steel ship structures are transported to HMS Raleigh by lorry, which will be a logistical challenge in itself. The huge structures will be broken down into smaller parts and reassembled at HMS Raleigh.
The five-month project has kept several of the internationally renowned ship repair company’s highly skilled steelworkers busy since it began in August.
HMS Raleigh, in Torpoint, is the Royal Navy’s premier training establishment in the South West where all recruits receive the first part of their naval training. The MoD has a contract with Rolls-Royce to develop a new range of replenishment at sea (RAS) equipment and build the new training facility. RAS is a method of transferring fuel, munitions and general stores from one ship to another and takes place during the day or night and in all weathers.
Rolls Royce has subcontracted the construction of the steel replicas to A&P Falmouth.
Peter Child, Managing Director of A&P Falmouth, said: “We have been working with Rolls-Royce since the start of the service contract for the RFA Argus in 2006.
“This has since evolved into a cluster contract, a 30-year contract between A&P and the MoD where we provide upkeep support to some of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships. The success and longevity of our relationship with Rolls-Royce is one which we are extremely proud of.”
The first wave device installed in the waters at Cornwall’s marine energy test site has been manufactured by A&P Falmouth.
BOLT “Lifesaver” is Fred Olsen’s new wave energy converter, and A&P Falmouth was awarded the contract to manufacture the device in conjunction with engineers Supacat. This involved procuring materials, fabrication in the workshop, assembly at dockside, and placing carefully into the sea by a tandem lift using Falmouth’s large dockside travelling cranes.
The Bolt Lifesaver structure demanded a very tight tolerance of plus or minus half a millimetre over the entire length. This means creating large jigs, each made from two inch thick plates of steel, which are strong enough to hold pre-fabricated box sections in-place for welding.
Using Computer Aided Design plasma cutting machines, the fabrication department created the pre-cut and pre-shaped steel. Assembled in the workshop, the units were turned over to complete the welding process before being air-tested to obtain watertight integrity.
During the manufacturing process, the engineering workshop team also had to machine the end flanges, which join the sections together. Requiring extreme precision, these are drilled in pairs – critical when bolting together to achieve a watertight connection. Once completed, the segments were painted with a high specification coating system.
Demonstrating their ability to adapt to design changes and meet strict deadlines, A&P also undertook additional strengthening work – this being required to accommodate the heavy machinery needed to capture the power of the waves in unforgiving ocean conditions.
A&P Falmouth has won a contract with the Italian ship owner Grimaldi against stiff competition from several shipyards throughout Europe.
It marks a milestone in A&P’s 10-year partnership with Grimaldi, taking the total number of Grimaldi ships repaired by the A&P Group to 50, the majority of which have been in Falmouth.
It will see A&P Falmouth constructing four huge rudders – weighing 42 tonnes each – for Grimaldi’s multipurpose container ships Grande San Paolo, Grande Buenos Aires, Grande Francia and Grande Nigeria. The state-of-the-art multipurpose container/ roll on roll off vessels carry cars, trucks, other vehicles and container cargo around the world.
Manufacture of the rudders has now begun and the first of the four vessels will arrive in Falmouth in late April for full survey and maintenance work, and to have her new rudder installed. The three other vessels will follow over the summer period, and A&P expects up to 150 staff covering all trades to work on the ships while they are in dry dock.
The last Grimaldi vessel to undergo repairs at A&P Falmouth was the Grande Africa in August 2011.
A&P Falmouth has successfully completed a multi-million pound refit of the RFA Cardigan Bay – the third ship in her class to undergo a major refit at the world-renowned dockyard.
The refit, which takes place every five years, included the installation of a complete new exhaust system and a major overhaul of its main engines, propulsion and electrical systems. Work took four months and was completed in January. Since January the vessel stayed at A&P, where she received a communication upgrade prior to heading to the Gulf.
The team at the docks is now preparing for the arrival of the RFA Lyme Bay, which is due to arrive this summer and will become the fifth ship to have a major refit within the Cluster contract at Falmouth. Major refits on the RFA Argus, RFA Mounts Bay and RFA Largs Bay were completed in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively.
The grey ships, which have become a familiar part of the Falmouth skyline over the past four years, are in the docks as part of the Cluster Support Programme – a contract between A&P Group and the MoD to provide worldwide support to the ships.
The partnership has led to a more economical approach to ship repair and maintenance throughout the RFA flotilla, through advanced planning, knowledge of the vessels, continuous improvements in working practices, the reliable quality of work and availability of the docks.
It is estimated to deliver millions of pounds of savings to the MOD over 30 years on the previous arrangements, which saw individual contracts competed for as and when they were required, and has already been praised in Parliament.
RFA Mounts Bay
The RFA Mounts Bay was at A&P Falmouth for the duration of March for annual maintenance, including the main engine, electrics, lifeboats and life saving equipment. She will now be resuming operational duties around the UK in readiness for her role as the Olympic guard ship this summer, where she will be based in Portland.
When she was last in Falmouth, RFA Argus was used as a film location for the Brad Pitt zombie movie World War Z. She arrived back at A&P Falmouth in April for three weeks of maintenance work and defect rectification. This will involve the main engine, auxiliary systems and painting, prior to deployment overseas.