New Modular Approach for retrofitting scrubbers from Damen

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Damen Green Solutions (DGS) in partnership with Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) and AEC, the scrubber supplier, is trialling a new technique for retrofitting scrubbers. Designated the Modular Approach, this new process is designed to cut the time that a vessel typically needs to spend in dock from two or more weeks to just a few days. This dramatic reduction in downtime, in combination with a more cost-efficient, certified scrubber, will be welcomed by ship owners and operators. The first installation of this type is already underway for the RoRo cargo vessel Stena Scotia.

The key to achieving this sharp fall in downtime for the vessel is maximising the amount of preparatory and manufacturing work that can be completed before the vessel arrives in the dock. This happens in two parallel processes. In one of these, the scrubbers and their supporting systems are fitted into two prefabricated modules while still in the workshop. The first module contains the scrubber plus all the necessary piping and electronics. The second houses all the auxiliary equipment including the pumps, heat exchanger and separators. These can then be tested and optimised in advance of the actual installation.

At the same time, preparatory works are undertaken on board the vessel at times agreed with the ship that do not interfere with its scheduled operations. In the case of the Stena Scotia, the preparations on board, including steelwork and pipe-fitting, will take place over a number of weekends during routine overnight stopovers.

The result of the prefabrication process plus preparation works means that when the ship does finally arrive at a Damen yard, the technical team can focus on the final stage of the retrofit process; attaching and linking up the two, fully operational modules to a ship that is ready and prepared to receive them. This last stage represents the third module of the operation.

Damen Green Solutions, the arm of the Damen Shipyards Group responsible for developing and implementing low-emissions and environmentally-friendly solutions, has oversight of the entire process including commissioning and training. It does this in close coordination with Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) and, in the case of Stena Scotia, Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam.

“With the need to access the vessel during its regular operations to undertake the preparations, it is vital to work very closely with the owner and crew to make the hours available as productive as possible,” says project manager Stef Loffeld. “Fortunately, DSC’s Harbour & Voyage teams are expert at working efficiently and unobtrusively when a ship is still in an operational mode. We also cooperate closely in the engineering phase with AEC, the suppliers of the scrubbing systems, to optimise the installation of the various components for maximum efficiency and operability. The result is a fast and effective installation with minimum downtime.”

Marcel Karsijns, Director of Damen Green Solutions, commented: “The combination of AEC’s simple yet effective scrubbers and Damen’s innovative installation approach significantly reduces up-front costs and reduces the payback period of the investment. We expect this solution to receive strong support in the market.”

Jurriën de Vries, sales director of AEC Maritime, concluded; “The close co-operation between Damen and AEC has resulted in this new modular approach for retrofitting SOx scrubbers. This is yet another example of the AEC philosophy; ‘SOx scrubbing made simple’.”

Damen Green Solutions are at Nor-Shipping until June 2nd. At their stand, U-05, they are exhibiting Damen’s award-winning port-based ballast water treatment system, InvaSave 300.

Damen Shipyards Group
Damen Shipyards Group operates 33 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 180 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.

Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology.

Damen offers a wide range of products, including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and superyachts.

For nearly all vessel types Damen offers a broad range of services, including maintenance, spare parts delivery, training and the transfer of (shipbuilding) know-how. Damen also offers a variety of marine components, such as nozzles, rudders, anchors, anchor chains and steel works.

In addition to ship design and shipbuilding, Damen Shiprepair & Conversion has a worldwide network of 17 repair and conversion yards with dry docks ranging up to 420 x 80 metres. Conversion projects range from adapting vessels to today’s requirements and regulations to the complete conversion of large offshore structures. DSC completes around 1,350 repair and maintenance jobs annually.

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