2020 and the first quarter of 2021 have been characterised by a large volume of routine ferry dockings for A&P Group, the leading provider of ship repair, conversion and marine services in the UK.
Recent projects have included vessels covered by A&P’s commercial partnership agreements with Red Funnel Ferries, Condor Ferries and Wightlink Ferries as well as P&O, Pentland Ferries, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and Stenaline.
Projects of particular note at A&P Falmouth have included a dry docking of Wightlink’s Wight Sun as part of the ferry fleet’s £5million annual programme of maintenance and refit, while A&P Tyne currently has P&O’s cross-channel ferry Pride of Kent in the dock for a 14 day programme of repairs and maintenance.
Other significant projects at A&P Falmouth have included a large dry-docking package for Condor’s Commodore Goodwill as well as routine work for Condor Rapide – the fastest vessel in Condor Ferries’ fleet – which required repairs to the ferry’s aluminium structure and car deck ramps as well as extensive unforeseen work to the jetovators. This required an additional two weeks in dock at A&P Falmouth during a very busy period. Thanks to Falmouth’s three docks, it was possible to move vessels around to accommodate Condor’s needs.
Wightlink Ferries’ ro-pax St. Clare also docked at A&P Falmouth for a programme which included the exchange of the Voith units, hull preparation and painting, prow inspection, hotel works and doors replacements.
Steve Jones, Managing Director and Operations Site Director at A&P Falmouth said: “We are pleased and grateful that so many operators trust us with their assets year on year. Even though the pandemic has presented challenges, we have continued to work with Red Funnel, Wightlink and Condor Ferries to deliver the high level of service and technical excellence they expect. Thanks to our knowledge of the vessels and a collaborative working relationship with these operators and their teams, it has been a very successful period for A&P Falmouth.”
In the North East, P&O Norbay recently spent 12 days in dock at A&P Tyne while the team removed, dismantled and cleaned the stabilisers. A&P worked closely with P&O’s ship contractor to replace the seals, before the units were re-assembled, filled with oil, tested and refitted. Despite the short time in dock, A&P also overhauled the lower hold operating cylinders and mooring winches and tested the rudders’ integrity.
Stena Forecaster also underwent a six-day drydocking at A&P Tyne at the end of 2020 for repairs to the starboard stern tube seal. Underwater inspections revealed the rudder needed repair and A&P worked remotely with OEM Becker to find a solution. Other work included steel repairs and alterations to the vessel’s engine exhausts, a comprehensive vessel paint programme and steel repairs in the ballast water tanks and cunifur pipework. Shortly after, A&P Tyne also delivered a 36 hour programme of steel and hydraulic repairs and maintenance for fellow fleet vessel, Stena Foreteller.
Keith Henry, Managing Director at A&P North East said: “Ferry repairs and maintenance have been a significant strand of our business for many years and we’re proud that we now work with the vast majority of UK ferry operators. We recognise the importance of returning vessels to service as quickly as possible and what this requires of our workforce and our need to be flexible, highly committed to HSEQ and commercially well priced.
“Emergency repairs which, by their very nature can’t be predicted, also make up a key area of the group’s expertise. With our seven dry docks across three facilities, a highly skilled project management team and an adept and flexible workforce, we also expect emergency repairs to contribute significantly to our 2021 pipeline.”
Steve Jones, Managing Director and Operations Site Director at A&P Falmouth added: “The pandemic has not had a negative effect on our work with ferries and ro ro vessels and in fact, a combination of factors have made the ro ro sector busier than ever. Last year saw an approximate 20% uplift in ferry and ro ro projects for A&P Falmouth in particular, and we have opened channels with new strategic clients. We expect 2021 to deliver similar growth.”
A&P Group is a leading provider of ship repair, conversion and marine services and heavy engineering expertise. Operating seven dry docks and extensive fabrication facilities across three strategic locations in the UK, A&P Group also has a business in Australia that provides ship repair services and support to the Royal Australian Navy.
As one of the leading engineering business in the UK, A&P is also involved in a diverse range of fabrication and repair projects across a broad cross section of sectors including Defence, Marine, Oil and Gas, Subsea, Energy, Civil and Nuclear. Projects include the fabrication of built modules for the Astute Submarine Class and the prestigious HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers, cable carousels, flood barriers, steam turbines, shore side access systems and FPSO upgrades.
All A&P Group facilities combine a rich heritage of marine and engineering skills and experience, providing a diverse customer base with all the precision skills needed to complete the most demanding projects.