VESSEL UPGRADES: Part of the original ESVAGT fleet is undergoing modernisation.
“I had better take this one.”
It is 13.30 one Monday afternoon and Svend Åge Korup’s telephone is ringing again. For about the sixth time in the last half an hour. We are in the office of the old manager’s premises at the top of the hill behind Søby Dockyard on the Danish island of Ærø.
The ‘Esvagt Preventer’ is at the quayside and people are toing and froing in and out of the vessel. Svend Åge Korup is ESVAGT’s technical inspector for the refitting of the ‘Esvagt Preventer’ and that makes him the man where the buck stops:
“I normally have to recharge my telephone at lunchtime,” says Svend Åge Korup with a smile.
The refitting of the ‘Esvagt Preventer’ is one part of the upgrade programme that six of the eldest ESVAGT vessels are going through. The refits will ensure that the fleet is up-to-date and modern, and that it can live up to the needs and expectations of its customers. At the same time, the vessels are being upgraded to make them modern workplaces for the colleagues on board.
The upgrade of the ‘Esvagt Preventer’ is the most extensive of them all.
“The vessel is being turned inside out and old vessels are like old houses; they are full of surprises once you get going,” says Svend Åge Korup.
The years fall away
“Turned inside out” is no exaggeration. The vessel is a building site with between 20 and 25 men on the go for 12 hours a day in every room and every cabin on every floor. They hammer and pound away, and the years fall away from the ‘Esvagt Preventer’ one by one.
All the cabins on the main deck are gone, all dividing walls taken out and all corridors, ceilings and floor coverings replaced. New cables have been installed, new and larger cabins and mess areas have been installed – as has an extra toilet. The wheelhouse has been given a new interior and more space has been added. There is new ventilation in every cabin and new radiators. There are new control panels, completely renovated motors, a new fire warning system and updated IT, radar and other electronics worthy of a king. Anything that has not been replaced has been cleaned, scrubbed, oiled or painted to shine like a new penny.
The hull has even had new panels where thickness readings have shown it necessary. It has been tidied, made more roomy, sorted and organised:
“We are installing a cupboard anywhere there is a space 30 centimetres by 30 centimetres,” says Svend Åge Korup.
The vessel will be at least as good as the day it was built. On comfort and safety standards, it will even be a great deal better:
“We have changed everything but the hull – and even that we have modified with a new bilge keel that will improve comfort on board. We have also added plenty of comfort with, for example, a new fitness room, more room in the mess area, an updated TV room below deck and much more,” says Svend Åge Korup:
“We have also introduced a good number of initiatives that will make the vessel a safer workplace. We will be installing a reverse osmosis system on the vessel so we can produce our own drinking water. That will avoid the risk inherent in bunkering water. Extending the wheelhouse gives us a better view aft, makes manoeuvring safer and we have relocated elements on the deck to make better use of space and lower risks,” he says.
ESVAGT has already upgraded the ‘Esvagt Bravo’, the ‘Esvagt Promotor’, the ‘Esvagt Echo’ and now the ‘Esvagt Preventer’. According to Kristian Ole Jakobsen, Chief Operating Officer at ESVAGT, the ‘Esvagt Preserver’ is the next vessel that will be upgraded in the near future.
Upgrade – because:
There are good reasons to upgrade the eldest section of the ESVAGT fleet – the group 3 vessels, says Kristian Ole Jakobsen, Chief Operating Officer at ESVAGT:
“We are making a number of welfare and technical improvements that will update the vessels. These projects are extensive both in terms of time and resources but most of the group 3 ships are particularly seaworthy and completely solid. We have had good results with upgrade and life extensions on other vessels and we expect these vessels will perform without any problems for the next ten years after the upgrade,” he says.
ESVAGT is a dedicated provider of safety and support at sea, founded on an experienced and well-trained offshore crew and unmatched rescue capabilities.
We support the offshore Oil & Gas industries with a wide range of specialized services: Standby, Emergency Response and Resque Vessels (ERRV), Oil spill response, Firefighting, Tanker assists, Rig moves, Supply services and Interfield transfer of cargo and personnel.
In 2010, ESVAGT brought the dedicated offshore wind Service Operation Vessels (SOV) to the market. The SOVs provide accommodation for up to 40 technicians, storage for small turbine parts and a workshop, plus personnel and equipment transfer capabilities by either Walk-to-Work gangway system or Safe Transfer Boats.
ESVAGT was founded in 1981 and has a fleet of more than 40 vessels and more than 900 employees on- and offshore.