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News 27|02|2023

Ship conversion – Diary of Brent in Singapore

  • Maritime & Offshore

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Brent Leirens is a mechanical engineer at Maritime & Offshore. On behalf of our client DEME, he is currently preparing the conversion of a ship in Singapore, together with former colleague Johan Cijsouw. On board, he investigates how the existing infrastructure can be adapted and new technology can be integrated. This involves collecting all the missing information in order to be able to draw up an engineering file.

Once all the information is available, Brent and his colleagues can finish the schematic diagrams. The final designs are then converted into a 3D package by our detail designers. After approval by the client, we will split these 3D drawings into smaller parts and create (2D) production drawings. And finally, everything gets built into the ship.

Brent is keeping a diary in Singapore. Here is the account of his first days on location.

Day 1

This was a day of travel. Johan and I had arranged to meet in Zaventem at 7 a.m., to take our flight to Abu Dhabi. Everything went smoothly and around 10 p.m. (local UAE time) we boarded our connecting flight to Singapore.

Day 2

9:30 a.m. (Singapore local time) arrived at the airport. After baggage claim and passport control, our adventure could begin. Taxi to the hotel, bought SIM cards and then headed to the shipyard.

There we met the managers, engineers and supervisors.

Our access badges were taken care of for us so that we could start right away the next day.

We went back to our hotel around 3-4 p.m. Quickly ate some local food, then caught up on sleep to recover from jetlag. We had been awake for about 30 hours straight.

Day 3

First real working day at the office in Singapore. Dealt with our backlog of emails and made the first preparations to board the ship.

Sadly, turns out that won't be for today as the ship is still floating in dry dock. Tomorrow then!

Day 4

Today we were able to board. First we got a tour of the ship, it is even more impressive in real life than on the drawing (approx. 200 metres).

We then went to inspect the engine room where a lot has already been dismantled and the preparations for the conversion are in full swing.

We worked our way systematically from the engine room through the accommodations to the bridge deck. Since two accommodation decks are being added (between the bridge and the existing accommodations), we're inspecting where the new pipes and connections can go or where we expect there could be problems.

Now that we have had a first tour, in the next few days we can focus on specific systems and check them, drawing by drawing.

Day 5

Today's schedule includes a lot of meetings with the shipyard employees. On one hand to answer their questions, myself or through my colleagues at, and on the other hand, to submit our questions to them. Being onsite at the shipyard makes the communication process much faster and easier. Side note: because of the time difference with Belgium, it's as if we're working in two shifts, with Johan and me here in Singapore and the other colleagues in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Day 6

After yesterday's meetings we now have a better picture of things on board. We are taking measurements and sharing the information with our colleagues in Belgium and the Netherlands. An entire HVAC room is being measured. We're checking whether the old construction plans were accurately followed and where we see opportunities to add certain things. Where new decks (levels) are being built on top of old decks, we're looking for a solution to connect the existing toilet ventilation systems. We're making some initial proposals and discussing them with the shipyard. We're also getting together with the shipyard production department to see when they need to have certain plans and when we can deliver them.

Day 7

After a first workweek that's been busy but interesting, it's time to explore the city centre. We're visiting Singapore's Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay, the Formula-1 circuit, China Town and Merlion Park. So we're keeping quite busy on our day off, too. And Singapore is certainly a beautiful city to visit.

Day 8

Today we're heading to Sentosa, the southernmost island of the city-state of Singapore. Here, we'll first visit a beautiful aquarium and then continue on to the idyllic sandy beaches. We're hoping to see some wild macaques, but unfortunately, they really still live in the wild here.

A fantastic weekend and we're all ready for the new working week.

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