Following five extensive weeks of repair and installation activities, Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock (VDC) announced on-schedule completion of its refit activities on Louis Dreyfus’ Ile de Batz Special Purpose/Cable Layer vessel. Arriving on April 21 and departing VDC on May 25, 2017, the Paris (France) based vessel underwent a wide scope of work that included the assembly of a new plow (special insitu welding/machining), overall support for mobilizing the ship, as well as the primary focus of the refit program, the installation of a ballast water treatment system – the first of its kind at VDC.

“This innovative repair and maintenance project truly was an all-hands-on-deck job, and marks the start of a proud new chapter in Vancouver Drydock’s world-class service offerings,” said Paul Hebson, Vice President and General Manager, Vancouver Drydock. “Given Seaspan Shipyard’s strategic location on the West Coast of North America, near the Canada-USA border, and with drydock berth space in both Vancouver and Victoria, we will continue to be well positioned for this type of activity for years to come.”

The ballast water treatment system was installed with the assistance of state-of-the-art robotic pipe welding machines developed by Novarc Technologies, a North Vancouver-based company, whose robotic systems – which will be used across Seaspan’s shipyards in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island – allowed pipe welding tasks to be performed considerably more efficiently.

New regulations have made it mandatory for all vessels sailing internationally to comply with ballast water management regulations. This means 60,000 vessels worldwide will have to be retrofitted with such systems by 2022. Ballast water treatment systems aid ships by reducing the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms that may be harmful in foreign ecosystems. Regulations were created as an environmental safety initiative, after strong scientific evidence confirmed that vessels sailing internationally have severe impacts in foreign marine ecosystems. New regulations will likely result in an increased demand for ballast water system installation among organizations offering ship repair and dry docking services.