Navalrocha shipyard delivers multi-million-euro project for Polarcus Naila seismic survey vessel

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Portugal’s Navalrocha shipyard has completed a multi-million-euro repair and refit project for Dubai-based marine geophysical company Polarcus.

The dry dock project which completed in January 2020 involved a broad package of work to the ultra-modern 14 streamer 3D/4D seismic vessel – Polarcus Naila.
The vessel is amongst the most environmentally advanced seismic vessels in the world with diesel-electric propulsion, high specification catalytic convertors, a double hull and advanced bilge water cleaning system.
Navalrocha Commercial Director Sergio Rodrigues said the sensitive project involved wide-ranging work.
“The Polarcus Naila visited Navalrocha shipyard for a total of 33-days running through the Christmas period,” he said. “The project involved five principal partners which operate at the Navalrocha shipyard base and a series of other specialist maritime firms, delivering a variety of mechanical, hydraulic, piping, steel work, blasting and painting as well as oil, fuel and ballast tank cleaning, carpentry and welding.
“Around 350 engineers were involved in the project which required careful management of high-value survey equipment. Four mobile cranes, three yards cranes and six forklift trucks were used to manoeuvre on-board infrastructure. Engineers repaired four winches, replaced a further two and installed two new winches to boost operations. A new partnership with Cyprus-based Deme Marine also saw the delivery of robotic hydro-blasting. This service helped reduce time and manpower while ensuring zero dust contamination or damage to seismic equipment, which can occur using more traditional slurry blasting techniques.
“A key reason Polarcus selected our yard was due to the scale of our graving docks. The vessel required draft clearance of 2.5 m, dock floor to bottom of the vessel, to facilitate the main body of work involving the renewal of 12 box cooler units. The graving docks are also more suited to managing heavier vessels compared to floating docks. This is where Navalrocha offers a significant advantage to competitors and we are keen to open the door to many more projects involving seismic survey vessels and ships with similar dimensions such as OSVs, PSVs and AHT.”
The news comes shortly after Navalrocha delivered its first ever BWTS project for the Paxoi bunker tanker capping off an active 12 months notching up than 30 dry dock, wet basin and pier-side projects. Recent work has involved livestock carriers, polar expedition vessels, car-ferries, tugboats, cargo-carriers, cruise ships and sailing vessels. The yard is also driving further expansion in the LPG and product carrier markets.
Middle East operator Polarcus is responsible for delivering high-end towed streamer data acquisition and imaging services from pole to pole, through its fleet of six specialist vessel.
Polarcus Naila superintendent Danilo Latkovic said: “This is our first engagement with Navalrocha shipyard. The project involved large volume of work with 140 small scale plus larger individual jobs. During the stay we had some unexpected large works which the yard managed well. Our decision to use Navalrocha shipyard was based on numerous factors including the accommodating our deep draft and block height demand. However, it was mostly driven by Navalrocha’s ability to fully focus its resources and facilities on our project. The scale of the yard means it does not manage multiple large projects at same time, which can be a shortfall in the case of larger yards.
“The Polarcus Naila is the second vessel in the Polarcus fleet, purpose built for advanced 3D towed marine seismic services worldwide to the oil and gas industry. It is regarded as one of the world’s most environmentally friendly and technologically sophisticated marine seismic vessels, capable of towing up to 12 by 8,000 m streamers.”