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First FPSO conversion for B+V since 2009

Monday, 23 January 2012 | 13:11
Blohm & Voss Repair in Hamburg, soon to pass into British ownership, has docked its first FPSO in three years for what German reports say is likely to be a long stay for conversion and overhaul, writes Tom Todd.
The 92,000dwt oil production and storage unit Uisge Gorm, a former tanker, arrived at the German yard earlier this week from Rotterdam under tow from a flotilla of Dutch and German tugs. Local reports said she had no engine power, rudder or propeller. Drawing 10m, she had to wait for high water at Finkenwerder before being berthed at B+V where reports said she was entering Dock 11.
A Blohm + Voss spokesman told The Motorship the vessel had berthed at the yard but would reveal no details of the work to be undertaken, for contractual reasons. He added more information might be available later.
Local media reports spoke of a stay of about a year. They said a panel had been cut in the bottom of the ship to allow her 6m of suspended oil and gas suction plant to be drawn up while she was in dry dock.
The 248.2m long and 39.9m wide Uisge Gorm belongs to Bluewater Services in Aberdeen. She was built in 1983 as the tanker Dirch Maersk and converted into an FPSO in Spain nine years later.Accommodating 65 people, she has been laid up in Rotterdam since 2008.
The last FPSO to call at B+V was the 99,890dwt Maersk Curlew in 2009 for life extension and overhaul lasting just three months. The yard's last major offshore vessel conversion was that of the former ro-ro and cable layer Kraka into the 13,600 ton displacement ASV Dan Swift, also in 2009. That complex, ground-breaking job took two years.
The Uisge Gorm project comes at a time of great change for Blohm + Voss. The yard is about to be sold by ThyssenKrupp to the British group Star Capital Partners. The yard spokesman told The Motorship on Thursday that sale was now due to be finalised in the first quarter of this year and added "as of this moment, that's just what I expect to happen".
The comment was a reference to the fact that the sale of the facility now appeared certain after dragging on for more than two years.
Source: The Motorship
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