In a breakthrough project, SPS Overlay (sandwich plate system) has been used for the first time by a Greek shipping company, in a new and powerful endorsement of the renewal technique by an owner from the world’s leading shipowning nation.
In an 18 day project completed in June at China Shipbuilding Industry Corp’s Shanhaiguan yard, tanktops were reinstated on board the 150,940 dwt Capesize bulk carrier Star Ypsilon, owned by leading Greek shipmanagement company Starbulk S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of Star Bulk Carriers Corp.
Delivered in 1991, the RINA-classed Star Ypsilon required reinstatement of a 2,757m2 area of tanktops and hoppers, with SPS overlaying an area of existing steel with a 10mm thick steel section of new steel, and ‘sandwiching’ a 20mm thick injected elastomer core.
Initial expectations had been that the project would take around 21 days. However, the enhanced productivity delivered by SPS Overlay, backed by growing experience in the process from Shanhaiguan Shipyard brought the job in well ahead of schedule.
“This is the fourth Capesize SPS Overlay project to be completed at Shanhaiguan this year and we have been truly impressed by the way they have gone about their work,” said Rob Duffin SPS Overlay Director.
George Mantalos, Technical Manager for Starbulk S.A. said that speed and quality of repair had been critical issues in selecting the reinstatement technique. “Using SPS Overlay rather than conventional crop and renew proved very efficient,” he said. “We were able to re-instate maximum areas with minimum man hours, ensuring that the project not only came in on time, but well ahead of our own tight timetable.”
Peter Tedder, SPS Overlay Business Development Manager added: “Not only was this the first project with Starbulk S.A., but it provides testimony that we are now securing more projects in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Greek shipping fraternity’s appetite for this proven technology is growing, as demonstrated by astute owners such as Starbulk S.A. Starbulk recognised immediately the commercial benefits and technical advantages of SPS compared to outmoded crop and renew. They scrutinised the economics and technology, while Shanhaiguan provided efficient steelwork and our Greek agents A.P. & A. supplied liaison and back up. This left us simply to complete the injection process in the now, ‘normal’ fashion.
“The project is a milestone for the company in the world’s largest bulk carrier market and takes the number of bulk carriers successfully completed in China to 17, out of a total 25 bulk carrier SPS Overlay projects worldwide.”
Beside the cost savings accrued by minimising repair time, using SPS Overlay delivers long term operational benefits, including enhanced impact resistance and permanently flatter surfaces. “Dishing” of the tank tops is almost entirely eliminated, leading to better cargo handling, reduced turnaround times and improved operational economics. Maintenance costs are also likely to be reduced as a result of enhanced resistance to wear and corrosion, improved coating performance and reduced deformations and cracks.