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Chinese Shipbuilders Spearheading The Return To Water

Thordon Bearings has received another order from a Chinese shipyard for its COMPAC system, in a development that indicates more and more of the country’s shipbuilders are specifying water lubricated propeller shafting arrangements as their standard solution.

The latest order comes from COSCO Dalian Shipyard, which will install 600mm diameter COMPAC propeller shaft bearings, Thordon’s water quality packages (WQP), ThorShield shaft coatings and bronze shaft liners to three 62,000dwt multi-purpose vessels under construction for COSCO Shipping.

Alex Li, Managing Director, CY Engineering, Thordon Bearings’ partner in China, who secured the contract, said: “This latest order is significant in that it shows Chinese shipbuilders commitment to the Chinese government’s wider environmental strategy to reduce industry-borne emissions and pollutants. Thordon’s COMPAC water lubricated propeller shaft system is now becoming the standard arrangement for Chinese shipbuilders.”

COSCO Shipping Specialized Carriers’ Deputy General Manager Cai Meijiang (centre) and his executive team meet with Thordon Bearings during Marintec 2017. Thordon CEO Terry McGowan is pictured to the right of Mr Cai

Li is referring to recent orders for COMPAC from the Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard and the Shanghai Shipyard, of which the latter has installed the water lubricated bearing system to 15 newbuilds to date.

Zhong Jie, Manager, Electromechanical Section, Purchasing & Supply Department, Shanghai Shipyard Co Ltd, said: “We are now very familiar with the Thordon solution. From many years’ experience, we know this product is really reliable. As a leader in water lubricated stern tube systems, Thordon’s professional approach has helped streamline the ship design and construction processes at the shipyard.”

Highlighting the key shipyard benefits of moving to water lubricated systems, Shen Yu Gui, Project Manager, Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard, said: “Using Thordon’s COMPAC system is economically advantageous for us. It is easy to install, environmentally safe for shipowners and offers a longer service life than oil lubricated white steel bearings. Technical service is very important and CY Engineering/Thordon have done a fantastic job.”

In November, Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard successfully installed Thordon’s COMPAC system to two newbuild containerships under construction for U.S-based Tropical Shipping. And later this month, the first of two 2700TEU containerships with COMPAC, Delaware Trader, will undergo sea trials for a UK-based owner.

Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard is one of a number of Chinese shipbuilders that is spearheading the return to water-lubricated propulsion

Commenting on the success of COMPAC in the Chinese shipbuilding market, Sam Williams, Thordon Bearing’s Regional Manager, Eastern Asia, praised CY Engineering’s technical competency and local knowledge.

“There can be teething problems when a shipyard diverts from its standard offering but the application to Guangzhou Wenchong’s first COMPAC ship was a text-book installation. CY Engineering was responsible for all detailed technical/engineering work with the shipyard and teamed up with Thordon’s Global Service & Suppport (GSS) technicians to supervise the installation and commissioning processes, resulting in the system being installed very quickly, much to the delight of the yard.

“Installations such as this require close cooperation between our representative looking after the shipowner, Thordon’s GSS team and our local partner working with the shipbuilder. When we receive new orders, we approach both parties and work to achieve a preference on the part of the owner, and a commercial/technical agreement with the yard. This can be a process which goes through many iterations, depending on the owner’s involvement and on the preferences of the shipyard,” Williams said.

Craig Carter, Throdon’s Director of Marketing and Customer Service, added: “China’s ongoing commitment to reducing pollution across a number of industries is indicative in the work Chinese shipbuilders are doing to environmentally future-proof their newbuildings.

Chinese shipbuilders are showing other yards in the Asia-Pacific region that seawater-lubricated shafts are less complicated to install than oil-based systems

“The shipping industry is returning to seawater-lubricated systems for a number of commercial and technical reason and Chinese shipyards have been quick to understand the benefits of a COMPAC installation.”
Source: Thordon Bearings

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