Navalrocha with strong 2021 order book
Portugal’s Navalrocha Shipyard is ramping up work in target markets — including BWTS, research vessel and tugboat sectors — with a strong list of projects already booked for 2021.
Navalrocha Commercial Director Sergio Rodrigues said the second half of 2020 saw continued progress building on landmark work delivered at the start of the year.
“Navalrocha is maintaining strong and consistent performances having proved its resilience throughout 2020 winning work with new clients and breaking fresh ground in target markets,” said Mr Rodrigues. “While the last 12 months has brought a unique set of challenges, our yard has continued to drive momentum, including significant progress delivering BWTS projects and within niche research vessel and tugboat sub-sectors. We have also maintained strong and steady activity in our traditional markets, with growth in LPG, product carrier and small-scale LNG work.
“Our competitive rates, fast turnaround times, reliability and growing track record have provided a solid footing during this uncertain period. Meanwhile, unique opportunities are continuing to present, including projects for the heavily hit cruise sector which is using an unusually quiet period to refurbish and renew global fleets.
“We are approaching the future with cautious optimism but are pleased to report high volumes of enquiries for the first two quarters of 2021. Navalrocha remains firmly open for business — following a rigorous overhaul to working practices to ensure full and effective management against COVID-19 – prioritising safety for all staff and customers.”
In May Navalrocha extended its portfolio in the BWTS market after completing two further projects in a high-profile contract with MM Marine – which operates one of the world’s largest fleets of high-specification bunkering tankers. The yard welcomed sister vessels Kythira and Nisyros before managing a further BWTS installation for MM Marine’s Ios I oceangoing product tanker. The five-vessel contract marked a significant period in the yard’s history. All projects were delivered with Navalrocha’s in-yard partner Step Consolidated installing Alfa Laval Ballast Water Treatment Systems. In order to maximise speed and efficiency Navalrocha’s engineers fabricated new pipes before the vessels arrived after requesting 3D CAD drawings from the vessel management team. All vessels underwent a range of other repair work including blasting, painting, mechanical work, steel renewal and electrical work.
By mid-Summer the Sao Jorge chemical carrier was positioned in Dock 2 for the second stage of a dry-docking project, involving piping and steel work within a broader reclassification. In June, the yard delivered a novel project in the form of Confeitaria Nacional River Cruise’s Lisboa Vista Do Tejo ‘restaurant boat’. The passenger vessel underwent a 14-day drydocking, complete with the vessel’s pontoon involved blasting, painting and propeller inspection work, within wider maintenance works.
July saw another exciting development as the yard secured its second research vessel project, following initial success with the Polarcus Naila seismic survey vessel. The MV Aquarius Dignitus arrived in Dock 2 for a reclassification and maintenance work including blasting, painting, minor mechanical and steel work. The 1977-built dual-flagged (Germany and Panama) search and rescue vessel has been used to rescue refugees and illegal migrants stranded in the Mediterranean Sea since 2016. It is chartered and operated by the NGOs SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors without borders) as a rescue vessel for migrants and refugees making the Mediterranean crossing in makeshift craft from Libya to Italy as part of the European migrant crisis. The project demonstrates Navalrocha’s continued progress pursuing new markets, with research and survey vessels a key target for the yard.
In late summer Navalrocha welcomed back long-trusted client Reboport from Setubal with the Golias tugboat which landed in Dock 2 for a standard reclassification and renewal work involving blasting, panting, propulsion, and mechanical work. This was followed by Reboport’s Ulisses tugboat later in the year, for the installation of two main engines.
Moving into Autumn, the yard booked new client X-Press Feeders – the world’s largest independent common carrier. The company’s X-Press Vesuvio container ship arrived in Dock 2 in September. A key element of the project for the 2005-built vessel involved the installation of a replacement rudder blade flap. Navalrocha invested in a new boring machine to complete the job which included welding.
Later in September Transinsular Shipping Lines booked the Lagoa container vessel in Dock 1 for a reclassification involving steel and wider renewal work. This was followed by SMS Towage’s Roman tugboat which required maintenance work to the propulsion unit. Following a rigorous inspection, the propulsion unit was removed and sent for reconditioning before reinstallation.
In October, Atlantic Ferries passenger catamaran Roaz Corvineiro arrived in Dock 2 for reclassification including widescale painting work. Shortly afterwards the L’etoile hopper barge from Jan de Nul entered the yard to undergo a broad range of work including the renewal and replacement of the split hull Cylinder jacket. The large jackets weighed circa 50tonnes, when filled with oil, demonstrating the yard’s capacity to deal with heavy equipment. Further work involved hull cleaning, blasting, painting and steelwork.
“Navalrocha offers its customers a number of highly unique benefits,” said Mr Rodrigues. “Firstly, our strategic location in the sheltered Tagus Bay provides ideal ship repair and conversion conditions, with more than 300 days of sunshine every year. Crew members also benefit from the vibrant and cosmopolitan capital city of Lisbon on the doorstep.
“We can offer a faster and more cost-effective solution to ship operators looking to avoid the congested Strait of Gibraltar or Mediterranean. Furthermore, the scale of our operation places us at an operational advantage with three easy-to-manage drydocks. This ensures every project receives ‘priority treatment’ from a 70-strong workforce and cluster of world-class sub-contractors located on site.”