The first half of 2021 has been characterised by a large volume of routine dockings across the group. So far this year, A&P’s North East facilities have enjoyed particular success with dredgers, ferries and OSVs, while Falmouth has carried out a number of ferry and defence projects.
A&P Falmouth has benefitted from a focus on long-term commercial partnership agreements with clients in the passenger ship segment. Projects of particular note at the yard to date this year have included Wightlink’s Wight Sun and St. Clare, Condor’s Commodore Goodwill and Condor Rapide, as well as a number of vessels for Red Funnel. Condor Rapide – the fastest vessel in Condor Ferries’ fleet – required repairs to the ferry’s aluminium structure and car deck ramps as well as extensive unforeseen work to the jetovators. This required an additional two weeks in dock at A&P Falmouth during a very busy period.
Thanks to Falmouth’s three docks, it was possible to move ships around to accommodate Condor’s needs. St. Clare also required an extensive package of work that involved the exchange of the Voith propulsion units, hull preparation and painting, prow inspection, hotel works and door replacements.
In the North East of England, A&P Tyne recently had P&O’s cross-channel ferry Pride of Kent in the dock
for a 14-day programme of repairs and maintenance, whereas P&O Norbay spent 12 days in dock at the yard while the team removed, dismantled and cleaned the stabilisers. A&P worked closely with P&O’s contractor to replace the seals, before the units were re-assembled, filled with oil, tested and refitted.
Despite the short time in dock, A&P also overhauled the lower hold operating cylinders and mooring winches and tested the rudders’ integrity.
Drydockings for Stena Forecaster and steel and hydraulic work for sister vessel Stena Foreteller have also been undertaken at A&P Tyne, which recently docked Prysmian’s cable laying barge, Ulisse, alongside after a successful drydocking period for a special survey. The Tyne-based team is also preparing to begin mobilisation work for Prysmian’s Da Vinci, another cable layer.
Over at A&P Tees, the last few months have seen the team deliver annual dockings for the dredgers City of Westminster, Arco Dijk and Sand Falcon, as well as a growing number of offshore vessels including North Star Shipping’s Grampian Sovereign.
Other projects have included a Condition Assessment Programme (CAP) survey for the tanker Mersey Fisher, routine maintenance work for Briggs Marine’s barge Forth Atlas and the tug Forth Warrior, as well as a return maintenance visit from PD Teesport’s Cleveland County.
Reflecting on the recent successes at both North East facilities, Chris Davies, business development manager, says: “The market is very buoyant right now and the location of our two North East facilities makes us well placed to capitalise on the available work. We are pleased to secure more work in the offshore sector at A&P Tees in particular.”
Defence work also continues to be very important to A&P, especially at Falmouth. Recent projects include applying a paint scheme to a Royal Navy warship HMS Tamar, which will start operations with a ‘dazzle camouflage’ paint scheme applied after completing a 30-day period of planned maintenance work at Falmouth. In total, the unusual brief took more than 2,500 hours to cover the vessel’s 2,200m² surface area.
Gerald Pitts, managing director of A&P Defence at A&P Falmouth, comments: “This was the trial project before the rest of the class of vessels are given the same paint scheme. A&P proved its flexibility in modifying the programme to incorporate the additional painting within the drydocking period. We completed on time and to our usual high standards and the end result is really quite impressive.”
Other defence work, delivered as part of A&P’s 10- year In Service Support contract with the Ministry of Defence, has included providing overseas support for HMS Scott in May and delivering an Annual Certification Period (ACP) for RFA Lyme Bay while the vessel was in Bahrain. Meanwhile, RFA Cardigan Bay has arrived at A&P Falmouth for its five-year refit and numerous upgrades and RFA Argus is undergoing a five-month maintenance and paint programme, involving upgrades to the flight deck to increase aviation capability.