German yard group shows repair versatility
Three north German shipyards – once independent facilities but now all partners in the German Naval Yards Kiel (GNYK) group - have gone into the New Year with a variety of successfully completed commercial and naval ship repair and technical inspection jobs behind them.
Among the ships involved in the latest repair activity at GNYK’s Lindenau Schiffswerft in Kiel have been two specialist vessels – the 56.2m Gerrman multi-purpose pollution control and emergency response ship Scharhörn and the 78m Danish offshore supply ship Sable Express.
Reports provided no details of the work carried out on the Danish vessel but they did say that Scharhörn underwent unspecified technical preparation at Lindenau to determine the scope of a yard overhaul later in 2018. It was not known what the overhaul would cover but it seemed likely that its extent would be determined by the future role of Scharhörn.
That’s because the Berlin Government said in 2016 it planned to replace the 42-year-old Scharhörn and a second German emergency response ship, the 80.4m Mellum – which is 32 years old – in 2019 with newbuildings boasting LNG/ dual fuel propulsion systems.
Elsewhere, GNYK sister yard Nobiskrug Werft in Rendsburg repaired bow damage on the 7,107dwt general cargo ship Wilson Tyne after it was involved in a collision in the Kiel Canal locks in Brunsbüttel. Damaged starboard external hull sections were removed and replaced in about a week under the last-minute contract job and no dry docking was necessary, Nobiskrug said.
Yard Repair Chief Bernd Wittorf however was pleased the task had been completed in such a short time. “Long lay-up times mean immense losses for our customers – particularly those in commercial shipping”, he said.
As the year changed, it was announced that CEO Susanne Wiegand – the woman largely responsible for creating GNYK and welding three once very different local shipyards together into a corporate whole – was leaving the company. Co-Managing Director Holger Kahl will head business operations until a new CEO is appointed.
Wiegand and Holger Kahl took over the management of Nobiskrug ten years ago. In 2011 and 2013, the former surface shipbuilding operations of HDW-Gaarden and Lindenau were added to the group to create the current three-yard concern with integrated management and administration.
GNYK is now one of the biggest employers in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein with around 1000 personnel. Military surface ships are being built again in Kiel where the company is involved in an order for five corvettes for the German Navy.
The group now also bundles personnel competence to offer repair, maintenance and conversion of merchant ships and official workboats as well as naval vessels and yachts. In 2017 Nobiskrug also delivered the world’s largest private yacht.
By Tom Todd
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