Fortune still smiling on Lisnave

by | 6th November 2023 | Shiprepair, Shiprepair & Maintenance - News

Home News Fortune still smiling on Lisnave

Positive market trends are the foundation for another successful year at the Portuguese shipyard

All the signs are that 2023 will be one of the best years for some time for Portuguese shiprepair yard Lisnave. Over the first nine months the company docked 55 vessels of varying types. This is not an exceptionally high figure. However, the average value of the work per vessel contracted by owners was significantly above that recorded in 2022, resulting in a further increase in the overall turnover this year.

“The commercial performance of the yard this year has been exceptionally strong and certainly our results will be up on the year before. I had thought that 2022 would have been something of a peak, helped by owners who normally docked in China redirecting work to Europe, but in the end that has not turned out to be the case, with 2023 proving even better,” says Luis Braga, Lisnave commercial director.

One of the factors that has helped Lisnave is that a significant amount of drydocking work was pre-booked months in advance during 2022. This has led to an increased level of activity over the first half of 2023. “There was concern among shipowners about a lack of repair yard capacity, and the more pressing need for retrofits to ensure compliance with environmental regulations meant that many decided to book slots well in advance, which is not the usual pattern we have seen in recent years. There are signs that the market is normalising, and owners are not booking so much ahead of time, but the underlying trends are still very positive,” adds Braga.

The yard has handled a wide mix of vessel types this year so far. This includes a significant number of tankers, shuttle and product type vessels, as well as gas carriers and bulkers. There has also been a higher number of containerships than usual docked at the yard this year, largely reflecting the fact that there is more retrofitting ongoing in the sector.

One of the most notable projects for Lisnave to date this year has been the work on a series of five vessels for Hapag Lloyd and Crowley Shipmanagement to retrofit them with new bulbous bow arrangements to improve performance and reduce emissions. Other environmental retrofit work carried out by Lisnave to container vessels so far this year has included propeller repairs and upgrades, cold ironing installations, the fitting of boss fin caps and Mewis Duct units.

“There is no doubt that these environmental retrofits are one of the main reasons for the higher average spend per vessel in the yard this year. Many container vessel owners deferred their drydockings in 2022 because of the booming market conditions and are now taking advantage of their dockings to take action to ensure CII and EEXI compliance,” says Braga.

Another major project for Lisnave in 2023 has been the conversion of the bulker Emily Oldendorff into the juice carrier Golden Citrus. The vessel’s conversion required significant effort. This included steel work, cargo and cooling piping installations, surface preparation, increases to the height of the hatch coamings and the preparation of the cargo holds to receive the 16 new juice tanks, each weighing 150tons and measuring 12m x 12m x 16.5m on board. These were installed at the yard having been shipped from the Far East to Lisnave on board a heavy-lift vessel. The project has taken over five months to complete, and the converted juice carrier was handed over to its owners at the end of October.

Lisnave has been operating at the Mitrena yard for nearly 50 years and in that time has undertaken several improvements to infrastructure and equipment. Recently the focus has been on reducing its environmental footprint through the installation of solar panels. These now provide around 6% of the yard’s electricity requirements, with further installations under consideration.

Lisnave is also investing in new robotic high pressure hull blasting equipment, to replace traditional grit blasting, which can be environmentally harmful. The yard experimented with the technology around 12 years ago, through a contractor, but the timing did not prove right. Now the yard will own and operate the equipment itself and is confident of strong support from clients who are keen to dock their vessels in the most environmentally friendly means possible.

The new equipment, which will have the added operational benefit of allowing Lisnave to carry out repair works in parallel with hull blasting and cleaning that must be done separately now, is on order, Lisnave reports, with the expectation that the advanced robotic machines will be operational in the spring of 2024.

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