21 Jul 2020

A&P Group has reported a strong first half of the year across all three of its UK facilities – despite the challenges of working during the pandemic.

In order to continue with vital ship repair, conversion and fabrication work, A&P Group was quick to deploy a strict programme of Covid-19 measures at the start of the pandemic; all designed to keep employees, clients and the supply chain safe, and importantly to allow key vessels to remain operational.

David McGinley, Chief Executive Officer of Cammell Laird Ship Repairers and Shipbuilders and Atlantic & Peninsula Marine Services said: “Our rigorous risk assessments, pre-planning and ongoing communication with customers and ship staff have ensured we can limit the risk of the virus entering our facilities and minimise disruption to vessels as they arrive at our sites. Customers can be assured that they face minimum disruption when visiting our facilities as we’ve found effective ways to safeguard our workforce and customers whilst continuing to deliver essential projects.”

The forecast for the rest of 2020 is also encouraging for the ship repair, conversion and marine services company, as deferred classification surveys look set to make the last quarter busy for all three facilities. David McGinley added: “The knock-on effects of Covid-19 have been vast and we are anticipating a bottleneck of demand for our drydocks, as ship owners and operators rush to book their classification surveys before the year is out.”

One of A&P Tees’ most significant projects of the last six months involved extending the life of trailing suction hopper dredger Heortnesse by more than 15 years. Carried out over two dockings, the propulsion drives were changed to allow the vessel to operate on just two generators, instead of three and the dredge system was refurbished with a new dredge pump, pipework, densitometer and monitoring system. In total, 30 tonnes of steel, the deck-dredge hydraulics, control systems and the alarm and communications systems, were all renewed.

A&P Tees has also completed vital maintenance and repairs for Hansen’s TSHD Arco Beck, which included urgent stern seal renewals. During a 16 day drydocking the team pulled the port and starboard shafts to facilitate the renewal of the seals and also used the time to carry out various steel repairs and pipe renewals. Other work included cleaning the hubs, renewing the unloader luffing sheave and repairing the tower boiling box.

The 10 year survey of Atlantic Offshore’s supply ship Ocean Don and Ocean Falcon have also been completed by A&P Tees. Both vessels underwent an 11 day dry-docking programme which included mechanical preparation and painting of the hulls, ranging out and calibration of anchors and chains, fitting of new links and chain lengths, removal of rope guards, partial removal of the port shafts, replacement of tail shaft seals and inspection of all water ballast tanks. The team also removed 24 valves for cleaning and inspection and replaced five. Work on the vessels was carried out while observing Covid-19 social distancing guidance.

James Fisher & Sons’ Clyde Fisher has also visited A&P Tees for a 20 day repair period for its Intermediate Survey, with 14 of those days in the dry dock. The ship had a ballast water treatment system fitted and its hull painted.

A&P Tyne has also enjoyed a strong six months. James Fisher & Sons’ oil tanker Superiority stayed in A&P Tyne’s dry dock for seven days and underwent an intermediate survey, as well as had its hull painted and its generator and alternator overhauled.

Multi-purpose offshore vessel Normand Oceanic underwent a 34-day mobilisation period at A&P Tyne in January. The work carried out included installation of a tilt and lay system, which required a 440te lift, and an installation of an A&R winch which involved a 147te lift.

Additionally, A&P Tyne carried at a 10-day mobilisation of OSV Brave Tern in the Port of Sunderland. The mobilisation included the installation of a 50te tugger winch, caley reel, guide and goal posts; fibre optic under rollers and reel; 15te tensioner; 3te three wheel pair; 1250KVA generator and the fabrication and installation of grillages and a diverter chute.

Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, Prysmian also called upon A&P Tyne to first mobilise and then demobilise cable repair equipment on the North Sea Giant, as part of a project to undertake repairs to a critically-important IFA2 electric interconnector cable, for the National Grid. Prior to the mobilisation, A&P had to demobilise Brave Tern to release vital equipment for modification and subsequent installation on the North Sea Giant.

Numerous items and their seating arrangements required significant changes within a short period of time including mobilising, fabricating and sourcing items for the caley reel, 15te tensioner, quadrant rails, caley chute, cable saddleback support frames, 25te deck winch, generate sets, overboard chute foundations and ROV containers. The mezzanine deck required the most fabrication and welding work, with alterations and extensions necessary to ensure the best operational ROV spread for the cable layers.

At A&P Falmouth, projects have included work on Tamar Ferries Lynher 11, as part of its commercial partnership agreement.

Regarding A&P’s work in the defence sector, Falmouth is currently carrying out a major refit of RFA Mounts Bay after the vessel’s three year operational deployment in the Caribbean. RFA Lyme Bay has also returned to Falmouth for the start of a busy Contractor Support Period. A&P Falmouth is observing the group’s strict Covid-19 guidelines to ensure critical work on these vessels can take place safely.

RFA Mounts Bay is currently in Falmouth’s Queen Elizabeth dock for a five month programme of repair, maintenance and upgrades as part of A&P Group’s 10-year In-Service Support contract with the Ministry of Defence. Work will be carried out to the main propulsion drive converters, main chilled water plant and sewage treatment plant and will also include the preparation and preservation of the ballast tanks. The galley will be given a full upgrade and the vessel will also undergo a full back-to-bare-steel preparation, preservation and paint package.

RFA Lyme Bay will undergo a major overhaul of two of the main diesel engines, plus a replacement of the resilient mounts on all of the diesel generators, a large steel package of work on the cranes, lifts and ramps along with electrical work on the 6.6KV and 440V switchboards, as well as the bow thruster motor. A five-day dry docking period is also included for essential Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) inspections to be conducted. A&P will also support a package of pre-deployment engineering work in order to meet the ship’s operational programme.

Work on RFA Lyme Bay is part of A&P Defence's In-Service Support Contract with the MoD for the Bay Class vessels - RFA Mounts Bay, RFA Cardigan Bay and RFA Lyme Bay as well as RFA Argus and Ocean Survey Vessel HMS Scott.

Work has also been carried out on BAE vessel HMS Mersey and also HMS Scott, which has visited Falmouth twice during the pandemic.