LPG Tanker Repaired, Modernized and Converted
The 977-ft. (297 in) LPG tanker Matthew was docked in mid-August into drydock Elbe 17 of Blohm + Voss Repair GmbH to be repaired, modernized and converted in 33 days. The ship was berthed at the quay for an additional 12 days so that tests could be carried out and the equipment set to work in cooperation with the crew, which stayed on board during the docking period. The Matthew, a large order for the traditional Hamburg shipyard, had hundreds of people working around the clock, seven days a week to ensure the delivery to Cabot LNG Corp. went off as scheduled. The tanker is in service on the route from Trinidad to Boston transporting natural gas, which is taken on board in liquefied form at a temperature of -162°C. The special feature is that this temperature is maintained during transport just by the excellent insulation of the tanker. The Matthew was the first tanker allowed to sail into the port of Boston after September 11.
Blohm + Voss Repair installed a new 2,100 kW auxiliary engine (weight 52,000 kg) to ensure a safer future power supply. For this, a new engine room was required, which was completely fitted out with all auxiliary equipment by the yard. Adjacent to the engine room a workshop was arranged and several modernizations were carried out to make the tanker — commissioned in 1979 and laid out for a life of approx. 40-50 years — fit for the coming years. Blohm + Voss removed an anchor winch with a capacity of 55,000 kg and four mooring winches and installed five new mooring winches each with a pulling power of 75 t. Two old life rafts were replaced by a free-falling rescue boat arranged at the stern. Extensive repair work was completed by Blohm + Voss specialists in all 26 ballast water tanks to meet the classification regulations. Gas loading systems and cargo pumps were overhauled. In addition, the propeller shaft was removed and the sealing system renewed using new Simplex seals produced by B+V Industrietechnik. Furthermore, 34,000 sq. m. of the outer skin were preserved and various pipes and valves of various systems such as the steam, ballast water and sounding system were renewed.
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