Rapid response keeps supply ship earning its keep

2017-03-03 - A dash from Northumberland to Falmouth and late night working ensured a platform supply vessel could sail to its next charter with minimum delays and without incurring additional dry docking fees.
A platform supply vessel (PSV) had two failed variable-speed drives (VSDs) replaced in five hours, enabling it to leave dry dock and get to its next charter.

Engineers from ABB’s authorised value provider Quantum Controls travelled over 450 miles from Northumberland to Falmouth to install two drives on the ship’s steering system.

The MV Highland Eagle, owned by Gulfmark Offshore, is a 3,200 tonne PSV used to supply oil and gas platforms in the North Sea.

The ship was in dry dock in Falmouth being serviced. The motors powering the ship’s hydraulic steering system are controlled by four non-ABB VSDs. When these were switched on at the end of the maintenance programme, it was found that a 5.5 kW and a 7.5 kW VSD had insufficient output voltage.

Rob Kerrison, dry docking manager for Gulfmark, says: “We were unable to source the VSDs in the Falmouth area as none of the Falmouth yard contacts were able to provide the required parts. I contacted the commercial department of UK Docks in Sunderland to ask if they knew of a supplier who could supply and fit suitable drives and it recommended Quantum Controls, which had done work for them in Teesside.”

He continues: “It was vital we get the ship moving as it was due in Heysham to take up its next charter. This customer had temporarily taken another of our ships into use but this too was due to go to another customer, so the drive failure was having a knock-on effect on our operations.

Engineers at Quantum Controls got the call on Saturday morning at 10:30 am. Two replacement ABB general purpose drives were collected from Quantum’s premises and the engineers set off at midday. They arrived at the dockside in Falmouth at 9.00 pm that evening and began work to remove the existing VSDs and install and commission the two ABB drives.

Work was completed at 02.00 am the following morning, allowing the ship to sail to its next charter while avoiding any further dry docking fees and potential loss of chartering revenue.

A rapid response from ABB authorised value provider, Quantum Controls, ensured the MV Highland Eagle could sail to its next charter without incurring additional dry docking fees.