South African ship repairer completes work on Transocean drillship

Written by Nick Blenkey

DWMdrillshipmicroTransocean’s Deepwater Millennium vessel recently left the Port of Ngqura near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, after undergoing a number of upgrades and modifications by Cape Town based ship repairer DCD Marine.

The Deepwater Millennium vessel is a Samsung/Reading & Bates designed, dynamically positioned drillship capable of drilling in water depths up to 2,468 m (upgradable to 3,048 m) and to depths of 10,000 metres below the sea surface.

DCD Marine has an established track record of upgrades of a similar magnitude on vessels in the same class and also has experience in working in the Port of Ngqura, where it recently completed work on the Odfjell Drilling Rig, Deepsea Stavanger.

The Port of Ngqura was selected due to the fact that, not only it is on the direct path of the Deepwater Millennium’s final destination in Mozambique, but also because it has a draft of 16 m, which is suited to the vessel’s minimum required depth of 15 m.

“Transocean was amply satisfied with the facilities made available by DCD Marine to undertake the required modifications,” says Gerry Klos – General Manager of DCD Marine.

The Deepwater Millennium arrived in port on November 16, 2011 and work got underway on the project, which was scheduled between the completion of the vessel’s last contract and the start of a new contract offshore Mozambique.

The scope of the project included the manufacture and installation of new lifeboat davits and the lifeboat platforms. DCD Marine was also responsible for the painting and coating of the decks and the installation of temporary living quarters (TLQ).

DCD Marine also installed a reverse osmosis system for the supply of fresh water; installed HiPAP (High Precision Acoustic Positioning) valves and replaced sea valves and pipes. In addition to the original work specified in the tender, DCD Marine was also awarded a number of smaller work packages as the project advanced.

A total of 372,571 work hours was clocked on the project and included 110,751 directly from DCD Marine’s employees; 98,428 hours from DCD-appointed sub-contractors and 163,392 hours from Transocean and Transocean-appointed sub-contractors. A total of 1,661 people underwent induction in order to prepare them for the expected challenges on the project

“A challenge we faced was the mobilization of our workforce and workshop facilities to a remote location outside Port Elizabeth. In spite of the fact that we worked from temporary, mobile facilities we were still able to maintain the high levels of quality work that DCD Marine is synonymous with in this tough and competitive industry,” Mr. Klos adds.

Environmental surveys were conducted prior to vessel arrival in the Port of Ngqura and for the duration of the project.

“There was regular liaison between the port’s environmental officials, DCD Marine and Transocean to ensure that the required regulations were adhered to and that the stipulated parameters were not exceeded. We were very impressed with the Port Manager, Captain Chetty, and his staff on the professional services rendered by them and the positive contribution they made in ensuring a successful project,” says Mr. Klos.

Mr. Klos also added that the representative unions, NUMSA and UASA, supported the project “from the word go,” and played a major role in ensuring a safe, stable and productive workforce during the course of the project.

A month prior to vessel arrival, the Transocean project team spent time at the recently upgraded A-Berth facility in the Port of Cape Town before relocating to the Port of Ngqura. “The revamp of the A-Berth facility is a positive move and is conducive to oil and gas industry projects in terms of the facilities available, such as the laydown area and offices,” says John Hill, Project Manager at Transocean

“Working with DCD was a positive experience. They displayed good management of the project as a whole. I have a lot of respect for the Project Team and would not hesitate to recommend DCD Marine as the main contractor on our next rig/vessel upgrade. In addition, I would be more than happy to use the Port of Ngqura as the destination port,” adds Mr. Hill.

February 27, 2012

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