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Cammell Laird reports busy period for ferry work

WORLD FAMOUS British shipyard and marine engineering services company Cammell Laird is reporting a busy period of ferry work docking nearly as many ferries in the first four months of 2015 as in the whole of 2014.

The surge in demand for Cammell Laird’s expertise has seen 15 ferries docked at its historic Birkenhead 120 acre site, which includes four drydocks, in 2015. A further three ferries are booked in for drydocking and repairs.

Cammell Laird managing director Linton Roberts said the company has undertaken the work for a range of long standing clients including Caledonian MacBrayne, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Irish Ferries, NorthLink Ferries, P&O Ferries and Seatruck Ferries.  “It has been a really strong year for ferry drydockings and repairs and we are keen to build on this and win more work from new and existing clients,” he said. “The work we have undertaken has made full use of our drydocks which are suitable for vessels up to 40m beam. The drydockings have included conventional and high-speed vessels, in steel or aluminium. They have ranged from the 46m, 617 gross tons Mersey Ferry Snowdrop to the 209m, 50,938 gross tons Irish Ferries Ulysses. We have also worked on the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s Manannan, a 96m high-speed wave piercing catamaran car ferry. Here we have applied a SigmaGlide 1290 silicone coating system in an environmentally-controlled enclosure”.

Mr Roberts said another very high profile job undertaken this year is the ‘dazzling’ of the Mersey ferry “Snowdrop”, coating it in an eye-catching design created by British pop artist Sir Peter Blake – famous for The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album cover. Commissioned by Tate Liverpool and The First World War Centenary Art Commissions, the project, completed in partnership with Merseytravel and National Museums Liverpool, was part of Merseyside’s First World War commemorations.

Elsewhere Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret, CBE, said it has further bolstered its reputation for building ferries after winning a new multi-million pound contract from the Northern Ireland Government to construct a new freight and passenger ferry, the Strangford, for the Strangford and Portaferry route in County Down. The 40m vessel will have capacity for 28 cars and 260 passengers and is set to be delivered in August 2016. This followed on from the building and the delivery of two passenger car ferries by Cammell Laird for Western Ferries in 2013, the MV Sound of Seil (Cammell Laird keel number 1387) and MV Sound of Soay (keel number 1388). “Cammell Laird has the experience and world-class skills and facilities to build ferries on time at a competitive price,” he said. “We are actively bidding for several other new-build contracts, including a number of larger Ro-Pax ferries for UK waters. We are keen to meet more ferry operators and show how we can offer a range of unique benefits that few can match.” Mr Syvret emphasised the wide range of engineering services undertaken by the company in the period showcasing the depth of its experience and expertise. “One of Cammell Laird’s strongest unique selling points is that we can provide the complete engineering services package ensuring fast, efficient turnarounds at great value,” he said. “Works included propulsion work, the removal and repair of stabilisers and extensive repairs to high temperature steel and pipework systems. In addition, we completed a broad collection of shell repairs, electrical engineering jobs, deck, hatch and fender repairs as well as accommodation upgrades.”

Meanwhile Cammell Laird Technical Services recently completed a design for the conversion of a number of EuroShip Services Ltd managed vessels to be able to run on both Heavy Fuel Oils and Marine Gas Oil.
Cammell Laird technical manager Paul Ashcroft said this offered ‘big benefits’ to ship owners allowing them to reduce fuel costs when sailing in non-Environmental Control Areas (ECA) and to run on low sulphur MGO to comply with ECA emission regulations. “We worked closely with EuroShip and the ships’ crews, reviewing the existing fuel oil bunkering, storage, transfer, supply and purification systems before designing bespoke modifications,” he said “This now enables crews to manage their bunker fuel and alternate between the two fuel types seamlessly, with no loss of power. “Throughout the design process Cammell Laird sought to produce bespoke designs for each ship. This enabled us to undertake the prefabrication of system pipework and steelwork before each ship’s arrival. When the ships then arrive here we were able to make the modifications quickly and efficiency reducing disruption and keeping costs down.

Mr Ashcroft said Cammell Laird is targeting ship operators to help them meet new environmental laws in the next few years. “We will work closely with ship managers, owners and operators to provide engineering solutions to the challenges being faced over the coming years with new environmental legislation coming into force,” he said. “There is not one simple solution to suit all vessels. Much depends on the type of ship, the geographical trading area, its age and operating profile. But at Cammell Laird we have the practical experience and expertise to provide design solutions that can be seamlessly introduced into a vessel.”