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Tanker Requiring Emergency Repairs Calls to Harland & Wolff's Belfast Dry-Dock

22nd January 2024
Chemical tanker, Songa Crystal which required emergency repairs at Harland & Wolff, is seen at the Belfast Dry Dock, the smaller of two such facilities at the shipyard.
Chemical tanker, Songa Crystal which required emergency repairs at Harland & Wolff, is seen at the Belfast Dry Dock, the smaller of two such facilities at the shipyard. Credit: Harland&Wolffplc-facebook

A Maltese flagged oil/chemical tanker which required emergency repairs is at the shipyard of Harland & Wolff, Belfast having arrived earlier this month, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 127m red hulled tanker, Songa Crystal called to Belfast Lough on 8 January and is from a fleet of chemical, crude and product tankers. has identified the tanker is part of Songa Shipholding, of the Blystad Group which owns the vessel and technically is managed by division, Songa Shipmanagement Ltd, based in Paisley, Scotland.

Once in the fairway in Belfast, Songa Crystal proceeded to H&W’s Belfast Dry-Dock, the smaller of two dry-docks at the marine engineering facility located on Queens Island.

Emergency repairs took place of the 12,927 deadweight tonnes (dwt) tanker which has Panama as a port and registry and was built in 2006 by Samho Shipbuilding, in Masan, South Korea.

During dry-docking of the 18 year-old tanker which has had two previous names, has seen the H&W team involved in extensive cleaning and replacing works to both the engine room. This has also applied to the fuel tanks and to the port and starboard side shells.

According to H&W, they have been liaising closely with the ship's staff, ships superintendent and classification society, which has led to efficiency that has enabled progress with the steel repair process.

This was to ensure that the Songa Crystal will be fully operational as soon as possible, as the tanker it is understood, is to depart this week to rejoin the 21 strong fleet, which ranges up to 25,000dwt.

Published in Shipyards
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

Asides from shipbuilding, marine engineering projects such as offshore installations take place and others have diversified in the construction of offshore renewable projects, from wind-turbines and related tower structures. When ships are decommissioned and need to be disposed of, some yards have recycling facilities to segregate materials, though other vessels are run ashore, i.e. 'beached' and broken up there on site. The scrapped metal can be sold and made into other items.