One of our latest projects, in this case for Saudi Aramco, revolves around an unusual refit, because this time we are not on the ship, but underneath it.
Fast forward to Ro's Tanara, on the coast of Saudi Arabia. A floating dock over a hundred metres long stretches out over the water. In the lower part of this dock are water-filled tanks. A ship is manoeuvred into the dock.
This is where we come in: Our refits new valve and pump control pumps the water out of the tanks in a few minutes and, obviously, lets air in instead. The dock gets lifted up as pads and supports secure the ship. Maintenance can begin.
The control of all 18 ballast tanks runs via our NORISYS 4 platform. This system is semi-automatic, which means that the user himself specifies the amount of ballast needed for the respective ship's position. A balancing act, as trim and list have to be adjusted manually here. However, the operator only has to trigger the procedures, the NORIMOS precisely imitates the manual procedures. The unique advantage here is that the automated function is just as finely adjustable and can be tracked live by the user on the display.
The system automatically fills or empties the tanks and then closes the valves and stops the pumps. Accordingly, the dock is raised or lowered as required.
After maintenance is complete, the ballast tanks are filled again. The dock slides down to sea level again and the overhauled ship can embark on its next journey.
For us, the automation of the floating dock was a welcome change and a special highlight, as our refits usually take place on the ship itself.
We would like to thank Saudi Aramco for awarding us this extraordinary project, as well as Zamil Offshore - West Pier Project for their excellent on-site support. Without the everyone`s open-minded cooperation the implementation could never have been carried out.