Current and future regulations, which demand more environmentally friendly shipping, require the appropriate technologies to be employed or retrofitted, e.g. through the installation of scrubbers or conversion to a dual-fuel engine, which permits the use of LNG as an alternative fuel.
GDD and MWB: high level of expertise
Such measures can only be successfully implemented if early planning and effective preparation have taken place. Bremerhaven-based German Dry Docks (GDD) and Motorenwerke Bremerhaven (MWB) have been able to gather extensive experience over the past few years as a result of several projects. Schiff&Hafen spoke to Detlef Nünke, Head of Projects at German Dry Docks and Jörn Holst, Technical Director at MWB about the pooled expertise of the shipyard alliance.
What specific capabilities qualify GDD and MWB as companies to take on such complex challenges as retrofitting a ship’s main engine for the use of alternative fuels?
Jörn Holst: Project planning and project management are core elements for successfully implementing such a project. It requires an enormous amount of experience, seamless logistics and of course a high level of technical expertise. We have been able to acquire the requisite experience by retrofitting new scrubbers and replacing the engines of coastguard vessels.
Where would you conduct conversions, such as conversions to dual fuel?
Detlef Nünke: All preparatory work would be done by a riding crew on board the ship during the normal charter – as long as the ship’s operations permit it. We are also ideally equipped to do this, with our German Ship Repair base locations in Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Jamaica, too.
The actual conversion would take place at the shipyard’s own pier here in Bremerhaven. All the logistical essentials are available here, such as cranes, warehouse space, project offices, supply and disposal of materials and mediums.
Why would a ship owner choose to have your company conduct such modernisation works?
Jörn Holst: Because GDD/MWB’s USP is our ability to provide all resources from a single source. With MWB’s experience spanning almost sixty years, which includes amongst other things the mass “gasification” of diesel engines (conversion from diesel to gas) and GDD’s experience in complete conversions/retrofits and also ship extensions, our clients have a central, reliable contact partner for all of the tasks involved in such a project.
With our motto “Excellence in Ship and Engine”, we offer our clients complete expertise for their ship from a single source.
How are you able to accommodate ship owners’ wishes for short shipyard lay times?
Detlef Nünke: Timely planning and exploitation of all practical opportunities for preparation, such as the pre-fabrication of construction parts and components, is just as vital to achieving this as close cooperation and permanent communication with the client.