The massive 3,000 tonne lift capacity mounted on the stern and the ship's unconventional hull form meant that the shipyard had to make special dock bed arrangements to accommodate her.
A total of 225 blocks were required, along with an additional 56 steel pillars of up to 7 m in length to support the stern. Wooden wedges also had to be added to the lateral blocks to take account of the unusual hull shape and to ensure complete stability in the dry dock.
The scope of work over the 10 day period included, along with the standard work for class survey, blasting and painting the hull and the overhauling of the internal and overboard valves. The scope of the electrical works was extensive given the tight time frame, with a large number of motors removed and transported back to the workshop for overhaul before being returned and refitted. The last ones were fitted and tested on the same day of the vessel's departure.
The starboard propeller blades were also rebuilt. This required re-welding tips onto each of the blades followed by a full polish for both propellers.
Six generator coolers were removed for overhauling, as were their bearings, and some major repairs were made to the accommodations.
Cooperation with the project team from owner Shanghai Salvage was excellent; thanks in part to the assistance of a local Chinese national attending a nearby university who helped smooth the language differences.
"Ensuring that the Wei Li was properly supported in the dry dock was a complex project in itself," commented Khalil Benjelloul, head of marketing and sales at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque. "With all the blocks and pillars, plus the positions of the vessel's thrusters, it was not easy to position her in the centerline of the dock. Once all this was accomplished, however, the work proceeded smoothly and after 10 days of hard work around the clock she was on her way again. It was a pleasure to work with Shanghai Salvage and its representatives."
The Wei-Li was delivered by shipbuilder Zhenhua Heavy Industries in 2010 and this summer was involved in the installation of the 11,000 tonne jacket for the Ivar Aasen project in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.