Shiprepair & Maintenance: 1st Quarter 2020
Identifying a gap in the market around one of Southeast Asia’s busiest hubs, Colombo Dockyard officially launched its Rapid Response Afloat Repair Service (RRARS) service in May last year, catering for the repair needs of vessels calling at Sri Lankan ports, as well as those passing by. The new initiative has achieved considerable success and in the seven months of 2019 that followed the official launch, RRARS carried out over 90 projects, which is said by Colombo Dockyard to have been well above expectations.
During a soft launch period prior to the official launch, RRARS undertook 83 jobs in 2018 and 38 projects from 1 January to 31 May 2019. Overall, in the last calendar year a total of 128 projects were undertaken by the new division.
Currently RRARS operates around Colombo, Trincomalee and Galle ports. The aim is to establish a similar presence for the business in the port of Hambantota as well in the near future. In preparation for this expansion, Colombo Drydock opened a new branch office in Hambantota last December.
A number of significant projects have been carried out in recent months by the RRARS operation. These include undertaking bow damage repairs to Eastern Pacific Shipping’s Cap Arnauti. The RRARS team was mobilised to attend to the vessel while afloat and a total of 13.75tonnes of steel renewal was completed.
A main engine crankshaft renewal on Unisea Shipping’s Beautrophy was carried out as an emergency repair. In addition, collision damage repairs to Caravos Glory, for Hellenic Shipping, were undertaken while alongside a berth, involving around 22tonnes of steel renewal. This latter project required eight days work while the ship was alongside and three days at anchorage.
One of the biggest recent projects involved repairing damage to Sanmar Sonnet. The RRARS team had only a seven-day window to carry out the work while the Sanmar Shipping-owned vessel was offhire alongside a berth. Around 12tonnes of steel renewal work was carried out as the ship was afloat alongside, as well as the necessary surface preparation and coating.
The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has been a significant client, with RRARS engineers installing new Yanmar generators on a series of eight Vishva class bulk carriers, Vishva Ekta, Vikas, Diksha, Bandhan, Prerna, Nidhi, Malhar and Preeti. The team was able to replace the old generators on these ships with new units through a shell side opening before completing commissioning.
Head of marketing and repairs, Darshana Chandrasekera, says: “The RRARS team has the backing of our main Colombo drydock facility which can provide all sorts of workshop assistance, as well as source spares and materials in a timely manner. The high level of demand we have seen for this concept has given birth to a unique service which can assemble multi-skilled technicians who can be swiftly mobilised to attend to a diverse range of needs.”
A dedicated hotline and contact email has been assigned for afloat repair enquiries to ensure a speedy response at all times. Meanwhile, Colombo Dockyard is also investing to upgrade its onshore facility. In particular, it is increasing crane capacity to better handle repairs while vessels are in double, or even triple banked position alongside at its yard.
A new 70tonne crane has been purchased by the company and will be operational by May this year. The yard is also boosting its environmental credentials by investing in hydro blasting machines. As well as leading to a cleaner environment, these are expected to also improve efficiency levels.
Colombo Dockyard has three drydocks for shiprepair work. These range in length from 122m to 203m and containerships up to 125,000dwt.