In late October the Stena Arctica – a 117,000 DWT ice classed Aframax crude oil tanker – dry-docked in H&W’s Belfast Dock as part of her 5 year mandatory Class Renewal & Special Survey. In addition to a full hull-wash and repainting programme, all ship-side valves were overhauled, windlass bearings replaced, fan and pump motors removed and serviced, as well as various steel and pipework tests and repairs undertaken. The ship’s boilers and auxiliary and main engines were serviced and all cranes, whether for cargo hose handling or for life saving equipment, were load tested and overhauled. Despite the occasional period of inclement weather, the various works were completed winin the 14-day allocated period, resulting in positive and complimentary feedback from the ship’s managers and senior officers.

The Stena Arctica is owned in partnership between Stena Bulk and Finnish oil company Neste Oil and operates as part of the Stena Bulk fleet, one of the Stena Sphere group of companies which includes leading ferry company Stena Line.

Johan Jewert, General Manager WW Commercial Operations, Stena Bulk said “In Stena Bulk we were well aware of the capabilities and expertise of the Harland and Wolff team through the positive refit experiences of colleagues in our sister company Stena Line. When the opportunity came along with the Stena Arctica to use the services of Harland and Wolff we took the opportunity to engage the company and it’s fair to say that our experience has been extremely positive, one which we will be relating to our fleet management colleagues across the Stena Sphere group.”

Over the last 5 years alone Stena Line has supported the local ship refit and repair industry to the tune of £13m with a range of refit, upgrade and maintenance project which has helped to ensure the retention of key ship repair skills in Northern Ireland.

This demanding project on behalf of a very professional and exacting customer, carried out in a closely managed HSSE environment, required considerable co-operation between various H&W Departments, as well as with suppliers and third party contractors.

“Having dry-docked or upgraded 12 ferries on behalf of Stena Line in the preceeding 12 months, we were very pleased to be awarded the contract to dry-dock one of Stena Bulk’s large tankers. Due to its generous dimensions, 3 cranes and tankage for disposal of up to 1500cbm of oily water, our Belfast Dock is ideal for this size and type of tanker. As a consequence, with good planning, preparation and collaboration between all the parties involved, considerable progress was maintained throughout the project, despite some fairly adverse weather conditions”, reported Stuart Wilson, General Manager – Ship Repair.