Nine day stay for “AIDAbella” from April 2nd. Order prospects improve after Kaiserhafen shipyard re-organisation.
“She’s an eye-catching ship but not a big job“, says Rüdiger Pallentin. That however will not be the most important thing for the Member of the Executive Board of Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven AG when the 69,203 GT cruise liner “AIDAbella” arrives in the Kaiserhafen on April 2nd to spend nine days in the big Kaiser Dock. It will be the first time that a ship belonging to the big AIDA fleet has called at Lloyd Werft for technical work. And for Pallentin that’s what counts most in order to illustrate the wider spectrum of capabilities now available to the yard in the wake of yard restructuring. Just a few metres away from where the cruise ship will dock the drilling platform supply vessel “Island Centurion” has been docked for several months for conversion up to August into a highly specialised well service vessel for oil and gas reserves in deep North Sea waters. For Rüdiger Pallentin the two vessels, taken together, demonstrate the wide breadth of work which the future Lloyd Werft will be in a position to cope with.
“AIDAbella”, 251.5 metres long, 32.2 metres wide and carrying more than 2,000 passengers, is one of the biggest luxury cruise liners in the AIDA fleet; the 93 metre long and 20 metre wide “Island Centurion” on the other hand looks, at least from the outside, like any other ordinary drilling platform supply ship. “Island Centurion” however embodies future potential on which Rüdiger Pallentin is pinning his hopes. “This job demands all our know-how, experience, flexibility and engineering knowledge“, he says. “It will be a complicated conversion into a specialised vessel of the highest quality – just the kind of job we like and one which will demonstrate our capabilities“, he adds.
Also still part of Lloyd Werft’s portfolio in future, however, is the repair, maintenance, conversion and completion of cruise liners. It is in this sector especially that the yard has earned its outstanding reputation internationally over nearly 40 years and there are no plans to change this in future. “AIDA Cruises is a new customer for us and it does not matter how big the job is”, says Rüdiger Pallentin. After all the other nine cruise liners belonging to AIDA are also of a size which can be handled by Lloyd Werft.
The first three smaller ships were built in Turku and Wismar while all seven AIDA liners built from 2007 onwards were built at Meyer Werft in Papenburg. “AIDAbella” – built in 2008 and a sister ship to “AIDAdiva” and “AIDAluna” – is coming to Lloyd Werft as the third of that Meyer series for a range of diverse work. It will include hull conservation, tank cleaning, crankshaft and rudder work, gangway weight tests and valve maintenance. The yard has just nine days before “AIDAbella” leave for her next cruise on April 11th.
AIDA Cruises is a subsidiary of Carnival Cruises, for which owner Lloyd Werft has already repaired “Queen Victoria”, and “AIDAbella” will not be the only cruise liner to call at the shipyard this year. That’s because despite the re-orientation of shipbuilding in Bremerhaven’s Kaiserhafen, Lloyd Werft’s main activities have changed little. Still the centre of attention are passenger ships, ferries and conversion and newbuilding of ships and specialised offshore vessels. “We continue to focus on our strong points” stresses Rüdiger Pallentin.
With its partners in German Dry Docks GmbH & Co. KG – an amalgamation of former Lloyd Werft subsidiary Rickmers Lloyd and the shipbuilding sector of Motorenwerke Bremerhaven – Lloyd Werft can now operate on the international market with four floating docks and two dry docks. “This is a very clear improvement in our technical potential and above all an important structural improvement in the acquisition of orders” says a delighted Pallentin. For him this fusion of technical capabilities is “an invaluable advantage over earlier times and a chance which we would often have been happy to have in the past”.
Lloyd Werft, March 27, 2013