Lloyd Werft to convert the Danish Ro-Ro ferry “Primula Seaways” in 31 days starting July 1st. Options for two further DFDS ships.
Cutting and lengthening ships is nothing new for Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven. But it’s always different, as well as exciting and spectacular. The yard’s designers and workers get their chance to show their capabilities and creative mettle from July 1st. That’s when the 199.8 metres long, 32,289 GT “Primula Seaways” arrives for a 31 day stay in Bremerhaven. The yard’s job is to lengthen the ship by adding a 30 metre long midship section as well as to repair the damage which the “Primula Seaways” sustained in a collision off the eastern coast of England in December 2015.
For Lloyd Werft Board Member Dirk Petersjohann, the big Danish shipping company contract is like meeting an old friend. He was involved in the construction of the Ro-Ro ferry in 2002 at Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft. Along with Stephan Bieber (31), the project manager for the lengthening work, he has planned the procedure for the big floating dock (where the ship will be housed). It’s the first lengthening project to be tackled by the trained naval engineer and it will confront both him and Lloyd Werft with some special challenges.
Almost 200 metres of ship hull will need to be separated at a point where the overhanging bridge is located. The hull will first be cut vertically and then horizontally to about 10 metres below the bridge. By using this method the yard will avoid having to undertake the time-consuming job of cutting ramps at difficult points inside the ship. After all the ship’s supply and waste disposal pipe connections have been severed and marked, the front section of the “Primula Seaways” will be drawn out of the dock.
The new midship section is 30 metres long, weighs 1,300 tons and is already being manufactured, complete with fittings and painted, at the firm of Rönner Stahlbau Bremerhaven in the Fischereihafen. Tugs will nudge the new midship section into place in front of the stern section in dock in the Kaiserhafen. After the ship’s bow section has also been repositioned in the dock, hydraulic presses will be deployed to connect all parts with millimetre precision. The yard has 12 days to cut the ship and the remaining 19 days are being set aside for re-joining and repairs. That’s because, while the lengthening work is going on, tanks on the ship are being adapted to new MARPOL regulations and substantial collision damage also needs to be made good.
The new “Primula Seaways” will be 229.8 metres long and boast 4,650 lane metres for 307 trailers. As far as DFDS is concerned, the lengthening will mean a 25% increase in loading capacity.
The lengthening is of special importance for Lloyd Werft, particularly because options have also been secured to lengthen two further ferries for DFDS and because further projects for European ship owners are in hand at Lloyd Werft. For Dirk Petersjohann this is a sign that the yard, which now belongs to the Genting Group, “does not regard itself purely as Genting’s own house yard” but should and will continue to acquire orders independently on the international shipbuilding market. “We will not withdraw from competition but will, on the contrary, utilise our new possibilities internationally to acquire more work”, he said.