When the engines in a dredger owned by UK Dredging were close to the end of their lifecycle, the solution was to re-power the vessel with new Wärtsilä W20 engines. “The new engines improved the reliability of the vessel, allowing it to operate well into the future and provide our customers with a reliable and effective service,” says Ross Shergold, Technical Manager at UK Dredging.
The trailing suction hopper dredger UKD Marlin is one of six essential assets enabling UK Dredging (UKD) to fulfill the dredging needs of its customers. The primary task is to secure the reliable operation of the 21 UK ports run by Associated British Ports (ABP).
“The Marlin is a highly utilized vessel operating 24/7 in demanding conditions, where reliability is essential. With more than 168 000 running hours over 24 years, the engines were reaching the end of their lifecycle. We had to operate the old engines at the reduced output to ensure reliability,” says Mr. Shergold.
The re-powering study carried out by Wärtsilä considered several engine options in the Wärtsilä W20 range. The study showed, however, that the best fit and closest to the existing arrangement was to remain with 6-cylinder engines.
“Wärtsilä offered a full supply scope, including a detailed engineering design package, which due to our small engineering team and limited resources proved invaluable during the planning and execution of this project,” says Mr. Shergold.
According to Mr. Shergold, the communication and assistance with quick answers and solutions from Wärtsilä were excellent during the project. “We felt that we were all part of the same team, all seeking the common aim of ensuring a successful installation in an efficient and timely manner.”
Mr. Shergold describes the project as extremely smooth. Any minor problems were dealt with professionally and efficiently by Wärtsilä. The contract was signed in December 2016, and the vessel entered the dry dock in September 2017 and returned to service precisely a year after signing the contract.
He finds it easy to recommend a similar process to other ship owners, because of benefits such as improved reliability, allowing the vessel to operate well into the future.
The new engines have performed very well to date. As well as improving the vessel reliability and restoring the vessel to maximum power, initial indications are that we will benefit from improved fuel consumption, helping to reduce the vessel’s environmental impact and operating costs.Ross Shergold, Technical Manager at UK Dredging