Freeport, Grand Bahama – The Grand Bahama Shipyard is expecting to work on 17 cruise ships in an eight-month period that ends in April 2013, as it bids to become a ‘one-stop’ facility.
The Carnival Dream docked in September 2012, followed by Carnival Conquest and Carnival Glory, with each having the ‘Captain’s Suites’ added to the top of the bridge/wheelhouse.
“The Grand Bahama Shipyard performed these refits as a “turnkey” project,” said Graham Couser, vice-president of sales and marketing. “This turnkey approach has been in development with Carnival Cruise Lines for a few years, and is now coming to full fruition.”
2012 finished with ‘Emerald Princess’ of the Holland America Line, as well as the ‘Zuiderdam’ and ‘Ryndam’, all visiting the yard for routine maintenance dockings.
“Simultaneously in 2012 we were a part of the Princess Cruises ADG (Additional Diesel Generator) program,” added Mr Couser, “a programme designed to reduce port emissions.”
The Grand Bahama Shipyard fabricated a hull section for the ‘Coral Princess’ to contain a Wartsila-supplied diesel generator and a GEC-supplied alternator (for electricity generation), secured to the fabricated block. Upon the vessel’s arrival, a section of the hull was cut out and the new unit transported to the dock, successfully installed and welded back to place in 14 days.
The Shipyard has seen the ‘Seabourn Legend’, Holland America Lines’ ‘Statendam’ and Carnival’s ‘Fascination’ and ‘Fantasy’ in 2013, the latter two projects involving major steel replacements.
“We are now catching our breath and starting pre-fabrication of aluminum structures that will, when erected to position, house some 40 additional cabins onboard the Celebrity ‘Constellation’ when it visits the yard in April,” said Mr Couser. “This is the last of four such revitalisation projects, with all being successfully delivered by the yard on time.”
The Grand Bahama Shipyard has introduced robotic blasting techniques and equipment. This has reduced time for hull blasting, making the task safer and more efficient than traditional methods. The units currently being used are the most recent produced by Chariot Robotics, and the Shipyard is the first yard in the world to use them.
In late April, the NCL ‘Pearl’ and the Holland America Lines ‘Nieuw Amsterdam’ dock for routine maintenance programs. Mr Couser said the company was pleased with the development of the ‘outfit berth’, formally known as ‘North Beach’.
“Construction of a new sea wall is in progress,” he explained. “With completion scheduled for late 2013 we will have a fully-serviced berth with 40 and 80-ton crane capacity ,and a large lay-down area suitable for prefabrication of outfitted units.”
Mr Couser believes this work will lead to new business opportunities from the Shipyard’s existing customer base, and possibly open new markets from other marine sectors. “The focus will be to continue to engage and improve services,” said Mr Couser. “We want to increase our market share and ensure our customer’s ambitions are exceeded.”