In the last two months our diver/technicians carried out scrubber overboard pipe repairs in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Spain. In total, six corroded pipes were replaced on four ships: three container vessels and a tanker.
In all cases the pipes were protected with Ecospeed. This product is produced by Hydrex’s sister company Subsea Industries (www.subind.net). Ecospeed is highly chemically resistant. Considering the nature of the process taking place inside a scrubber, this is essential for a lasting protection of the pipe. Ecospeed can also be used to protect a newly installed scrubber system from day one.
Exhaust scrubbers are systems that filter out all harmful toxins from exhaust gases of marine diesel engines. These can severely corrode the pipes of the scrubber which can result in water ingress if not handled quickly enough.
To prevent this, the owners of the four vessels decided to replace the damaged pipes before leaks could occur.
Experience and flexibility
We know how important it is for ships to keep their schedule. For this reason, we split up operations like this in several stages if needed. These can be carried out in different ports to fit the customer’s need. Over 45 years of experience allows us to arrange this without causing any hindrance for the customer.
In these examples, all pipes needed to be replaced completely. They were constructed at our warehouse in Antwerp. Our divers are certified wet and dry welders as well as technicians, which allowed us to offer full repairs from start to finish to each of the customers.
Because of the location of the damaged parts of the pipes, welding work on the inside shell plating of the hull was needed. As a result, the outside of the overboards could not be sealed off with a simple patch. Custom cofferdams were also designed and constructed at our workshop based on the drawings sent by the customers.
Container ships in Antwerp, Rotterdam and Southampton
Both scrubber pipes were replaced on two 400-meter container sister ships. The same procedure was followed on each occasion.
After arriving at the ship, our team first performed an inspection of the damaged areas on both the waterside and the onboard side of the hull. They then installed the cofferdams over the outlets of the pipes. This allowed our welders to safely work on the shell plating of the vessel.
Both pipes were then removed and replaced with new ones. They were positioned and secured with a full penetration weld. Next an independent inspector carried out NDT testing of the weld seams.
In these two examples the new pipes were coated with Ecospeed in advance because no welding work needed to be carried out in close proximity to the coated area. If this is not an option, the coating can also be applied after the new pipe is installed. This was the case during the operation on a 225-meter tanker berthed in Algeciras.
Adapting to the customer’s schedule
The last container ship was on a very tight schedule, and it was essential that the ship be able to keep to this schedule during the repair of its corroded scrubber pipe. For this reason, the operation was carried out in four different ports to fit the customer’s need: Dunkirk, Le Havre, Antwerp and Rotterdam.
Our team first traveled to Dunkirk. There they performed an inspection of the pipe and installed the cofferdam. The ship then sailed on to Le Havre where our diver/technicians loaded the new pipes and all the needed equipment onboard.
During the ship’s next stop in Antwerp the damaged scrubber pipe was replaced and the new one was coated with Ecospeed. The final part of the operation took place in Rotterdam. During this stop the cofferdam was removed and a final inspection was performed.
We offer a full package to owners that are experiencing similar damages. We replace the corroded exhaust pipe while your vessel stays on schedule, and we make sure that you will not have to call us again for the same problem.
Most ships sail on a tight schedule. We know how important it is to prevent any loss of time. Our technical department has many years of experience in drawing up a repair plan that fits in perfectly with a vessel’s schedule. Working in shifts or splitting up an operation in stages are just a few of the many ways we can make sure that the impact of the repair is limited to the absolute minimum or avoided entirely.