DEME Offshore’s newest heavy-lift jack-up Apollo has recently completed a one-month conversion project at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque (DSDu). This complex contract involved the installation of a moon pool on the main deck. The technical demands combined with the limited time available required highly precise planning together with working around the clock in order to complete on time.
The moonpool installation was a major undertaking that involved creating an opening right through the centre of the vessel, from the main deck down through the engine stores and finally through the hull. To achieve this without compromising the structural integrity of the 87.5-metre Apollo the work was done in a strict sequence based on strength calculations of the ship’s structure so as to manage the weight distribution.
Before the works could begin, the vessel had to be manoeuvred alongside the quay and then jacked up. This allowed the work to be conducted from a pontoon positioned directly beneath the hull.
“We performed the complete scope of work with the vessel jacked-up alongside the quay,” said Fabien Guillemot, commercial manager at DSDu. “For our customers this demonstrates that for vessels of this type we do not always need to incur the added cost and time of drydocking for projects or mobilisations that require works below the waterline. The location of our shipyard in the east port of Dunkerque has a constant water level thanks to the locks that separate us from the open sea. That greatly simplifies operations like this.”
DEME, the parent of DEME Offshore, is a longstanding client of DSDu based on the yard’s ability to meet the requirements of its world-leading dredging fleet as well as its offshore capabilities. DSDu’s strategic location ensures minimum downtime for offshore operators active in the region. In June 2018, the 147-metre DEME Offshore heavy-lift jack-up Sea Installer spent eight days at DSDu for the fitting of new spud cans and other works.