Cammell Laird shipyard has begun a £47m (approx $78.4 million) refit of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Fort Victoria.
The massive refit will be the biggest ever undertaken by the yard since it began its 25 year through life support ‘cluster’ contract to maintain nine of the 13 ships in the RFA flotilla in 2008 (see notes to editors). The contract was renewed for a further five years from 2013 based on key performance indicators and value for money.
‘RFA Fort Victoria’ is one of the largest vessels operated by the British Ministry of Defence. She has just completed three years of active service where she has been Britain’s number one pirate catcher on operations off the coast of Somalia as well as supporting the Royal Navy in traditional roles.
Cammell Laird chief executive John Syvret CBE said the company is absolutely delighted to welcome the Fort Victoria to Merseyside.
“This is a very big moment in the history of the cluster contract to begin a refit of this size, complexity and magnitude,” he said. “The entire company is relishing the prospect of starting such an important contract. We will be deploying all the lessons we have learnt, and all the understanding we have developed of this vessel, over the last six years to ensure the refit delivers the best possible results for the RFA and MOD.”
Cammell Laird managing director Linton Roberts said the company has worked ‘enormously hard’ with the RFA since 2008 to develop a keen understanding of how best to work together in collaboration.
“This approach ensures the cluster contract is focused on delivering the best value for money and the optimum level of ship availability. The Cammell Laird team has come to know the RFA Fort Victoria extremely well over the years and at the end of 2012 we undertook a refit of the vessel ‘in theatre’ in Dubai, which followed the refit in 2009 at Cammell Laird. This background gives us extensive experience, expertise and knowledge of the vessel.”
Cammell Laird Project Director Spencer Atkinson, who will be leading the refit for Cammell Laird, said it would be one of the most detailed ever undertaken by the yard employing 200 skilled workers plus sub contractors over nearly a year.
“The main jobs on this contract will include an accommodation uplift, the replacement of six diesel generators, with complete new fuel, Lub oil, salt water and fresh water systems and new pumps . In addition we are overhauling the engine and main propulsion systems and steering systems. Another big job will be the installation of two ballast water treatment plants using the latest environmentally friendly technology and know how. “
“Elsewhere we are replacing two sewage treatment plants, installing new Reverse Osmosis Plants, a new incinerator and upgrading all crane ammunition handling equipment. We are also replacing the fire detection system throughout the vessel and installing a new local fire suppression system on the main engines and generators. All the weapons and weapon systems will also be overhauled. Meanwhile extensive general dry-docking works will be undertaken including painting and blasting of tanks and the underwater hull and painting the superstructure, including all her decks.”
Press Release, February 28, 2014