GIBRALTAR – Gibdock has completed a comprehensive maintenance program on Solstad Offshore’s construction support vessel Normand Reach, to ensure compliance with hull cleanliness standards imposed by Australia’s National Biofouling Management Guidelines on commercial vessels.
The Normand Reach has since departed for Western Australia to support activity at the Ichthys gas development.
The 120.85-m (396-ft) long vessel entered Gibdock’s yard last month, its first stay at the facility. Over the next 11 days it underwent hull washing, blasting and antifouling coating, and routine drydocking works, with the final tasks conducted while the vessel was afloat.
Australian guidelines covering invasive species are said to be among the most demanding anywhere, with inspections focused on niche areas where biofouling can accumulate, including the rudder hinge, sea chest, bilge keel and bow thruster, and any associated grates.
Gibdock Ship Manager Filip Tsankov said: “The internal surfaces of sea chests, for example, need to be painted with antifouling coatings that are suitable for the flow conditions of seawater through the chest. These standards demand deep cleaning and close attention to detail.”
In addition, the yard undertook special fabrication work, including installation of new plating to reinforce the vessel’s bridge and main deck protection against the threat of piracy.
Richard Beards, Gibdock managing director, said: “What is certain is that more complex offshore projects have been coming through from the major oil and gas majors in recent months, and our purpose-built ‘Pad 1’ area for heavier work and fabrication has been playing a significant role in ongoing projects.”