NMDC to complete fleet-wide conversion to Thordon seawater lubricated composite cutter shaft bearings
The National Marine Dredging Company has replaced the rubber cutter shaft bearings on the 89m dredger Al Khatem, marking a step closer to the Abu Dhabi-based dredging company’s fleet-wide conversion to Thordon Bearings’ seawater lubricated Composite cutterhead bearings and cutterhead intermediate lineshaft bearings, the company said in its release.
The 1979-built Al Khatem is the latest heavy-duty cutter suction dredger NMDC has converted to the Thordon solution, following the success of similar conversions to the Al Sadr, Al Mirfa, Al Hamra, Umm Al Zemoul, Umm Al Anber and the beaver Dredge 2.
Three more beaver dredgers Embarka 2, Embarka 5 and Embarka 6 are scheduled for conversion at an Egyptian yard later this year.
Since the first bearing conversion in the 1990s, the robustness and through-life performance of Thordon’s Composite bearings have proven to reduce NMDC’s vessel operating costs. This is largely because the elastomeric polymer bearing does not require any lubricating grease, reduces vessel downtime and extends time between bearing replacement.
Over the past two decades, Ocean Power International, which provides 24/7 engineering support for cutter shaft and intermediate shaft repair and maintenance support to NMDC, has converted all of the company’s cutter shaft bearings to the Thordon seawater lubricated system.
With the emergence of more stringent environmental regulations most dredgers are now fitted with seawater lubricated cutterhead shaft and intermediate ladder bearings to mitigate against the risk of polluting ecologically sensitive environments.
Following more than twenty years’ experience with Thordon’s cutter shaft bearings, NMDC is now considering the company’s seawater lubricated cutterhead intermediate lineshaft bearings for several newbuild projects.
About Thordon Bearings
Canada-based Thordon Bearings designs and manufactures a complete range of journal bearing and seal systems for marine, clean power generation, pump and other industrial markets. These products are built using Thordon proprietary non-metallic polymer materials that are lubricated with water eliminating oil or grease usage, meaning ZERO risk of oil pollution to our rivers, lakes and oceans. Thordon systems and bearings are available worldwide through over 75 agents and distributors.