• 2019 May 8 13:48

    Cammell Laird completes £44M RFA Fort Victoria refit

    Supply ship Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Fort Victoria, one of the largest vessels operated by the UK Ministry of Defence, has put to sea following the completion of a £44 million refit by Birkenhead-based (Liverpool City Region, UNITED KINGDOM) shipyard and marine engineering services provider Cammell Laird, the shipyard said in a press release.

    The year-long programme of work, represented phase two of RFA Fort Victoria’s life extension programme to keep her in service until 2025.

    Dubbed ‘Britain’s number one pirate catcher’ after playing a key role in numerous counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia, the ship has rejoined the UK’s surface fleet, ready to support task group operations alongside aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

    The latest upkeep work followed the first refit phase carried out by Cammell Laird in 2014. It was completed under the Through-Life Support contract held by the Birkenhead shipyard since 2008. Key projects included adapting the vessel’s cargo tanks to comply with environmental regulations, and adding the capability to re-supply Britain’s new aircraft carriers with provisions while at sea.

    Cammell Laird project director Spencer Atkinson led both the upkeep projects for the Merseyside shipyard, the two biggest refits the RFA has ever undertaken. He said the work represented ‘a monumental achievement’ considering the timescale involved.

    He said: “We had up to 400 Cammell Laird staff working on RFA Fort Victoria at one point, including upwards of 20 apprentices across all trades. Added to that, there were perhaps another 250 to 300 subcontractors.  It wasn’t possible to complete phase one and two together as the ship would have been out of service for too long, and quite simply, she’s needed around the world.  The 2014 refurbishment was carried out in such a way that she could sail and be operational, and then come back for the second phase at a later date. For the past 10 years, during the lifetime of the Through-Life Support contract, Cammell Laird has been responsible for all maintenance activity on board the ship – major and minor, in the UK and abroad. Everyone in the workforce knows Fort Victoria inside out and it’s that learning from experience that saved a lot of time and ultimately ensured value for money for the UK taxpayer.

    Critical tasks included upgrading the ship from a single to a double-hull tanker by adapting its centre cargo tanks to comply with International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) anti-pollution regulations. Once in dry dock, holes were cut in the side of the ship and 180 tonnes of steel used to enlarge its double bottom margin, reducing the possibility of a leak if the outer hull is breached. To avoid the expense of removing the ship’s port and starboard wing cargo tanks they were converted to hold ballast water.

    RFA Fort Victoria will help keep the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carriers supplied with solid stores – everything from food to ammunition. In preparation for this role, one of the ship’s Replenishment at Sea (RAS) rigs was modified to increase its weight capacity, allowing stores to support the carriers’ 700-plus crews to be transferred at a faster rate. The upgrade has also ensured the rig is now able to cope with the height of the carriers’ flight decks.

    The latest refit was the last major upkeep package to be carried out under the previous RFA Through-Life Support contract. However, Cammell Laird will continue to maintain RFA Fort Victoria along with eight other ships in the RFA flotilla after securing two new 10-year support contracts worth £619 million which began in March 2019.

    According to Mr Atkinson, the presence of a Through-Life Support contract paved the way for significant cost savings. Steelwork required to make the ship MARPOL compliant could be pre-manufactured, reducing the length of time the ship was out of service by around four months. As well as increasing the availability of RFA Fort Victoria, this also led to savings of at least £1.5m.

    Captain Richard Graham, Group Technical Superintendent at Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), the MOD’s procurement organisation, is responsible for the management of the Through-Life Support contract with Cammell Laird on behalf of DE&S Ships Commercially Supported Shipping (CSS).

    As well as making RFA Fort Victoria MARPOL compliant and providing capability to supply the Queen Elizabeth class carriers, the ship was also given a complete bridge technical refresh.

    This involved the complete removal of all navigational equipment, and machinery control and surveillance (MCAS) outstations, including all electrical cables. New decking was laid, and either new or refurbished equipment installed. The refrigerated cargo holds were given a major refurbishment, as was the ship’s galley. The ship’s entire hot and cold domestic fresh water system was removed and replaced with a total length of approximately 3.5 km of non-ferrous pipework. The refit also saw RFA Fort Victoria’s forward sewage plant upgraded.

    Converting the ship’s cargo tanks entailed the removal of fuel oil pipework, and the installation of ballast pipework and new tank calibration equipment.

    Its wing tanks were shot-blasted and fully painted. In conjunction, major modifications were made in the cargo pump room, with pumps surplus to requirement removed to reduce the future maintenance burden.

    A complete refurbishment of the tank deck saw the removal of redundant pipework, renewal of degaussing cable trays, and full scaling and painting of the deck. The ship’s RAS decks and RAS winch decks were also refurbished and completely repainted, while the RAS winch cable trays were replaced and all electrical cabling, including high voltage cabling, examined. Hudson Reel cargo pipework was replaced, and a new Fast Rescue Craft davit installed to enable the launch and recovery of Pacific 24 rescue boats.

    Routine upkeep and refurbishment work was also undertaken during the year, including overhauls of the main engines and generators, classification society surveys and inspections, hull surveys, special surveys, and an overhaul of ancillary and auxiliary equipment.




2019 August 19

18:41 Andrey Zubarev takes the helm at Sea Port St. Petersburg
18:36 Hapag-Lloyd announces General Rate Increase from East Asia to South America Eastcoast
18:26 Rosterminalugol YTD coal exports volume hits the 15-millionth-tonne mark
18:04 CMA CGM Group to take part in the Asia Fruit Logistica 2019 in Hong Kong
17:36 MPA launches Singapore’s first Maritime Sustainability Reporting Guide
17:04 ACO Marine commissions a series of Clarimar wastewater treatment plants for Jadrolonija
16:35 Suez Canal Container Terminal announces plans to open reefer repair hub to all brands
16:19 Jumbo and GoodFuels partner to take sustainable bio-fuel oil to the offshore support market
16:11 Main phase of Beloomut hydro engineering system rehabilitation project to be completed by the end of 2019, Moscow Canal authority says
15:58 LR awards world’s first digital type approval to HHI
15:32 d’Amico International announces the sale of one of the vessels
15:09 Samsung Heavy to advance smart ship technology in cooperation with equipment producers
14:17 JFD signs strategic partnership with Aquacentrum Den Helder to provide submarine escape training
13:09 Samsung Heavy Industries to win orders for 10 LNG-fueled vessels
12:53 Kraken’s ThunderFish® delivered to DRDC, Canada
12:09 Sinanju signs 2-year time charter agreement with ExxonMobil for LNG-powered “Marine Vicky”
11:18 MODEC announces issuance of project bond for FPSO charter project
11:16 Registration underway for “Import Substitution in Russian Shipbuilding: Ambition and Reality” Roundtable
11:09 Busan Port-Qingdao Port concludes MOU to promote cruise business
10:08 RAN signs two year lease extension with the National Australia Bank for its two Cape Class Patrol Boats
09:43 Brent Crude futures edge up to $ 59,28, WTI – to $ 55,34
09:08 The BPA and the Port of Rotterdam Authority concludes a development agreement to construct and operate the Rotterdam Distribution Center
09:01 Baltic Dry Index rises 2% to 2088 points
08:56 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 19
08:49 Hapag-Lloyd announces General Rate Increase from East Asia to Latin America

2019 August 18

16:51 USCG responds to ferry aground in Boston Harbor
15:09 NOAA awards $2.7 million in grants for marine debris removal and research
13:02 BAE Systems cuts steel for UK Royal Navy's HMS Cardiff
12:46 Kongsberg Digital simulation and software selected to fast-track R&D at new autonomous ship centre in Korea
11:05 NYK sponsors endangered Sea Turtle Research
10:56 Coast Guard cites passenger vessel for operating illegally, terminates voyage

2019 August 17

14:24 Kinder Morgan announces additional projects to enhance capabilities at Houston Ship Channel Facilities
13:31 Damen Shipyards Cape Town joins Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association
12:28 CMA CGM announces rate restoration for Asia to West Africa trade
11:32 APL informs on voil sailing on Asia-Indian Subcontinent Service in August
10:58 Pre-commissioned USCG's Cutter Midgett makes second cocaine seizure within five days

2019 August 16

18:16 Port of Vyborg volumes in Jan-Jul plummet 29% to 687,700 tons
18:06 Hapag-Lloyd announces rates from East Asia to North Europe and Mediterranean
17:36 Norwegian Encore leaves MEYER WERFT's building dock
17:06 Balltec secures North Sea decommissioning contract from Heerema Marine Contractors Nederland
16:35 Canada Infrastructure Bank signs MoU with the Port of Montreal on Contrecoeur port expansion project
16:05 Vår Energi AS awarded an EPCI contract to Rosenberg Worley AS
16:03 Low-sulphur marine fuel sales by Gazprom Neft in the first half of the year increased by 11% to 121,400 tonnes
15:48 Samsung Heavy to advance smart ship technology in cooperation with equipment producers
15:36 Throughout of oil port Primorsk in Jan-Jul 2019 increased 14% to 35.74 million tonnes
15:14 New mid-year record for container volumes through the Port of Vancouver
15:11 USCG repatriates 25 migrants to the Dominican Republic
14:27 Port of Vysotsk throughput in January-July rose 7% to 11.14 million tonnes
14:10 Austal signs A$126 mln contract to export two Cape Class Patrol Boats
13:14 Seven-month cargo volumes of Port of Ust-Luga increase 10% to 62 million tonnes (update)
13:05 NORDEN signs multiple long-term global contracts
12:05 APM Terminals Poti to implement uninterrupted 24/7 operations
11:39 Port of St. Petersburg seven-month volumes rise 2% to 35 million tonnes (update)
11:05 Steel cutting ceremony for the next AIDA LNG cruise ship at MEYER WERFT
10:48 Tekmar Energy selected for Formosa 1 Phase 2
10:44 Port of Hamburg seaborne cargo throughput up 4.1 percent to 69.4 million tons in H1 2019
09:55 Crude futures prices tend upward again: Brent Crude rises to $ 58,88, WTI – to $ 55,16
09:34 Baltic Dry Index leaps 97pts to 2047 points
09:27 Bunker prices show mixed movements at Port of St. Petersburg
08:41 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 16