Emma's engine under water

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The Dieselduck
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Emma's engine under water

Postby The Dieselduck » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:02 pm

Stern thruster ban after Emma Maersk engineroom flood
Monday 04 February 2013, 15:50, by Janet Porter amd Craig Eason - Lloyd's List

The trouble started for Emma Maersk, one of the world’s largest containerships, when its engineroom flooded.

Reefer boxes given priority as cargo discharged from damaged ship

MAERSK Line has ordered the largest ships in its fleet to stop using their stern thrusters until investigators have discovered the cause of a flood at the weekend that left the Emma Maersk’s engineroom under 18 m of water.

Divers have spotted the place where water gushed into the containership, leaving it adrift in the entrance to the Suez Canal, and have now sealed off the area around one of its stern thrusters that appeared to be the source of the leak.

That is to keep water in the engineroom, which will only be pumped out gradually in order to minimise further damage.

The 15,550 teu ship, which is classed by ABS, was towed into Suez Canal Container Terminal on Saturday after it lost power, but there were no injuries or pollution. The terminal is operated by sister company APM Terminals and Maersk is considering plans to keep the ship there while repairs are carried out, if possible.

The Denmark-registered ship was heading from Europe to Asia and had just entered the canal at the time of the incident on Friday night. It was carrying 13,537 teu at the time.

Half the boxes on board are empty. All will now be discharged and loaded onto other vessels, with priority given to refrigerated cargo, a spokesman told Lloyd’s List.

Investigators have found that water entered the ship through one of the stern thrusters openings, and then flooded through the 120 m long propeller shaft to the engineroom, which is located below the accommodation block in the middle of the ship. The 14-cylinder engine remains submerged and will be left under water until the situation has been fully assessed, rather than risk further problems by exposing it to oxygen.

Maersk Line is still making the arrangements for the cargo on board and considering whether its own ships have space for all the containers that need to be delivered, or whether to charter a vessel.

News of the incident first surfaced on social media sites, with some tweets claiming Emma Maersk was at risk of sinking.

However, the Danish line said there was never any risk of that.

“The initial assessment is that the vessel was not at any time in any danger of sinking, nor was the crew at any time in danger. However, the main engine lost power and the vessel was not able to sail on its own,” the line said.

The 397 m long, 56 m wide Emma Maersk was the first of a new class of containerships that were the largest in the world in terms of cargo capacity until a few weeks ago..

Maersk has never experienced an incident of this nature with one of its big ships before. Emma Maersk, which has seven sister ships, was drydocked last year.

The ship is fitted with a 14-cylinder Wärtsilä RT-flex96C engine with an output of 80,080 kW (108,920 bhp).
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Re: Emma's engine under water

Postby JK » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:07 am

18m of SW! That is staggering. I wonder if she will be declared a constructive loss after they figure out the insurance costs.

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Re: Emma's engine under water

Postby Big Pete » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:39 am

The stern thruster tunnel presumably failed and flooded the Engine Room through a 120 metre long shaft tunnel???

WHAT ABOUT THE WATER TIGHT DOORS?????

They should be closed accept for access at all times at Sea and especially if they were on "standby" entering the Canal.
Even if they were left open at the time the thruster tunnel failed it should have been possible to close them remotely from ther Bridge.
It must have taken a while for the ER to fill to 18 metres.

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Re: Emma's engine under water

Postby The Dieselduck » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:30 pm

One must assume that the shaft tunnel is considered part of the engine room and therefore not compartmentalized. Obviously its a sizable failure - physically, it seems it happened pretty quick.
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Maersk statement

Postby The Dieselduck » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:35 pm

Emma Maersk faces months out of service
5 January 2013

Palle Laursen, Head of Ship Management for Maersk Line, shares the latest update on the Emma Maersk incident that took place in the Suez Canal Friday evening. He explains that the investigation is still ongoing, and that repairs will take time.

Initial inspections by divers show that the water ingress was caused by damage to one of the stern thrusters. Thrusters are used for improving the vessels manoeuvrability and consist of a shaft tunnel fitted with a propeller delivering sideways thrust. It is now known that several propeller blades have broken off and there is severe damage to the propeller mounting, resulting in a crack in the forward stern thruster tunnel which caused the ingress of water.

The water flooded the engine room which consequently led to the loss of main engine power, and Emma Maersk was towed to the quay at Suez Canal Container Terminal.

No risk of danger

While it is still unclear what caused the damage, Palle rules out any human error by the crew. “The crew handled the situation very well and did exactly what they should at all stages,” he says.

“The E-class has been sailing well since 2006, and the thrusters are used at every port call,” Palle adds, stressing that for now it is seen as an isolated incident. “Until we know the exact reason, however, we have as a precautionary measure instructed the other vessels in the E-class fleet not to use their stern thrusters.”

At no point was Emma Maersk in danger of sinking. Naval architects have confirmed that a fully loaded E-class vessel can sustain full flooding of the engine room and still stay afloat. Large container vessels have a natural better stability than smaller vessels. Had the incident occurred at sea, it would have been a matter of getting an oceangoing tugboat in place to assist.

Fixing a hole

Making Emma Maersk seaworthy again is a complicated process, and Palle admits it is probably a matter of months before she can enter service again.

The first priority is to preserve the equipment, which ironically means keeping it submerged for the time being. Due to its exposure to salt water, any contact with oxygen will result in corrosion. So the plan is to have underwater welders plug the hole before lifting the vessel further, after which the remaining cargo onboard will be unloaded, water will be pumped out, and the equipment will be washed with fresh water, dismantled and retrofitted.

All this may sound simple enough, but there are several uncertainties, says Palle. It is still unclear whether a full dry-dock operation is needed, for instance. Even if it can be done while the vessel is waterborne, there is the question of location: is Suez suitable for the operation, or is it necessary to tow the vessel to another location?

These and other questions will be determined during the coming days and weeks. Cargo operations and customer relations continue according to plan to minimise the disruption as much as possible.

Meanwhile, the crew have been offered the opportunity to talk with a crisis psychologist, and those who wish to sign off have been allowed to do so.

If your cargo was on board, we will contact you directly as soon as possible with the details of the impact to your cargo. If you have any questions, please reach out to your local Customer Service contact.

Printed from Maersk Line web site 02-05-13 14:34
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Re: Emma's engine under water - initial press release

Postby The Dieselduck » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:40 pm

Incident on the Emma Maersk
5 February 2013

On 1 February 2013 Emma Maersk, Maersk Line’s largest container vessel, experienced ingress of water into the engine room. The vessel had just commenced its southbound voyage through the Suez Canal en route to Asia. The captain decided to terminate the planned voyage and go alongside the nearby Suez Canal Container Terminal.

Work on discharging the containers is well underway. Priority has been given to discharge reefer containers.

Full contingency for all containers in booking numbers is still unknown. We are in the process of taking stock of the customers impacted by this delay and will keep you notified about the alternate arrangements.

The initial assessment is that the vessel was not at any time in any danger of sinking, nor was the crew at any time in danger. There are no signs of pollution.

Investigations are now underway to establish the exact cause of the problem.

If your cargo was on board, we will contact you directly as soon as possible with the details of the impact to your cargo. If you have any questions, please reach out to your local Customer Service contact.
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Re: Emma's engine under water

Postby offshoresnipe » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:50 pm

Ahhh, what a mess, but I am sure she will be back in service.
In 2006 Dockwise had the Mighty Servant sink off Angola in 62 meters of water, Smit Salvage raised her back up.
If you have not viewed it yet go to the Dockwise website and check out the movie "Reinstatement of the MS3".

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Emma's headed to Palermo

Postby The Dieselduck » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:17 pm

Emma Maersk is towed to Palermo for repairs
Monday 18 February 2013, 15:26, by Craig Eason

GIANT containership Emma Maersk is heading to Fincantieri’s repairyard in Palermo, Sicily for repairs after a crack in a stern thruster flooded its engineroom.

The company has opted to use a repairyard rather than attempt the repairs in a terminal berth as it will need to discharge up to 13,000 cu m of contaminated seawater that is flooding the engineroom.

Using a repair yard will also provide a specialist workforce for what will become a major job.

The 2006-built, 15,500 teu vessel is being towed from Suez Canal Container Terminal where it berthed following an accident that occurred as it prepared to enter the canal southbound two weeks ago.

AP Moller Maersk-owned Svitzer has contracted the tug Fairmount Alpine to tow the vessel.

Maersk Line head of ship management Palle Laursen confirmed that the vessel would arrive in Palermo in about a week and would remain alongside for about three and a half months, although the length of the repair work will be determined by what is discovered once the seawater is removed from the engineroom.

Maersk decided to keep the engineroom flooded to prevent excessive corrosion of sensitive machinery and electronics.

Mr Laursen said it was too difficult to estimate the cost of the repairwork until the extent of the damage was clear.

It will take about a month to pump the water slowly from the engineroom.

Although the extent of the damage remained unknown, he said it was unthinkable that the vessel could not be fully repaired, adding that where parts of the huge main engine could not be replaced, those parts could be reconditioned.

When the water is removed, a full inspection will be made of the stern thruster area where the flooding occurred. Surveyors from the vessel’s classification society, Houston-based ABS, and the thruster manufacturer, Rolls-Royce, will examine the damage and make recommendations.

Mr Laursen said it was too early to say whether any work would need to be carried out to prevent such an accident occurring again on Emma Maersk or the seven other vessels in its class that have now been told not to use their stern thrusters.

Additional work is likely to be carried out on the outside of the thruster to strengthen the current temporary repairs, blanking off the thruster until the vessel’s next scheduled drydock in about four years’ time. It is not a class requirement for vessels to have thrusters.

Mr Laursen believes that had Emma Maersk been due to dry-dock next year, the decision might have been made to send the vessel for full repairs, bringing the docking schedule forward.

Emma Maersk had 13,537 teu on board at the time of the incident, of which 6,425 were full. The containers have been offloaded at SCCT and Maersk Line said it has reorganised its fleet without chartering replacement tonnage.

The 9,660 teu 48Y-Butterfly will replace Emma Maersk on the Asia-Europe service until it is ready to re-enter service.
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Re: Emma's engine under water

Postby Big Pete » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:13 pm

A little Bird whispered in my ear that the damage was caused by the thruster ingesting a large piece of debris which broke of the blades and tore the motor half off its mountings, perforating the tunnel.
Also, there was awatertight door between the tiunnel and the ER but it had been left open.
Enough said I think.

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Re: Emma's engine under water

Postby JK » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:41 am

oops

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Re: Emma's engine under water

Postby offshoresnipe » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:44 am

Talking with a fellow engineer and we are wondering what the size of the thruster is and motor? Anyone know?
Looked on-line but could not find anything, just curious is all. Has to be big to move her and to flood the E/R that fast.
Thanks

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Re: Emma's engine under water

Postby al2207 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:33 pm

they will have to replace all breakers, electronic , electrical component that were immerse in salt water including all switchboards, transformers ,motors , generators ;
nice order for the equipment manufacturer

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Re: Emma's engine under water

Postby Big Pete » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:14 am

Hi al,
I thnk that is why they are leaving all the sea water inside the Engine Room at present, to stop corossion.
When they get to the repair yard they will start by pumping out all the Bilge Oil and sump oil floating on top,( Lets hope the engineers had all the sounding cocks properly closed) washing everything down with fresh water and presumably pump out the Sea water at the same time bringing down the water level one deck at a time. they will then pressure wash everything with distilled water, rinse it off with Electrical Solvent cleaner and put big fan heaters on to dry everything out before it corrodes, I dont know the layout of these ships, but I imagine most of the important stuff is protected by Sea Water at present. Tropical Temperature Sea Water has a very low Oxygen level, ( Oxygen solubility in water varies inversely to temperature, that is why cold water fish can grow larger) so corosion will be extremely low below the water level which was reported as 18 metres.
The worst corossion will be "between wind and water" around 18 metres above the bottom of the Engine Room. i dont suppose there is too much equipment up there.
The important thing is not to have anything exposed to the air and wet with salt water at the same time, as the Sea water level goes down, the yard workers will be drenching everthing in Fresh water as soon as it becomes visible.
They might even keep the water level inside the engine room the same until they have flushed all the salt out, but that would use alot of Fresh water!!
Probably one of the main considerations in not doing the work in Egypt was the high cost of Fresh Water, they will probably need thousands of tons of it and probably hundreds of tons of distilled water.
As a side issue water may not be as damaging as you think, in one Environmentally Friendly Norwegian Dry Dck I was in they cleaned our Alternators by washing them with distilled water and drying them out with fan heaters rather than using Electrical Solvent Cleaners such as Armaclean or Electrosolve.
Most of the stuff should be salvageable, things like switches meters and small breakers, and electronics will not be worth the Labour cost and delay to the ship of stripping down, cleaning, rebuilding and testing, it will be quicker and cheaper to replace them, but things like large Electric Motors, Alternators the Bus Bars of the switchboard etc will just need to be cleaned up, unless they were "live" when they drowned, same with the engines, and most of the other machinery. I imagine Maersk will try to get a lot of stuff on "Service Exchange" to speed things up.

The repair cost and time out of service will still be a huge financial hit for the owners, P&I Club, and Hull & Machinery Insurers and they will all be after the Engineer's Blood for leaving the Watertight Doors open on Stand By.

I have talked the Engineers on my ship and we can not understand this, they must have had a series of Alarms, first for thruster failure, then all the tunnel well bilges would have filled and gone into alarm sequentially, then the ER bilges would have filled and alarmed sequentially and the Machinery spaces filled to a depth of 18 metres and nobody, either on the Bridge or MCR closed the WT door either remotely or locally. It is a basic requirement of SOLAS that a watertight door can be remotely operated from a safe position above any potential flooding and that the door will close against a flood of water coming through it. However large the hole in the thruster tunnel, the flooding rate would have been restricted by the water tight door opening, which is small in comparison to the size of the Engine Room which is literally Cathedral size on that sort of ship.
Maybe the Engineers were just overwhelmed by the number of alarms and assumed the Alarm system had failed?

BP
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Re: Emma's engine under water

Postby al2207 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:27 am

as i said all breakers must be replaced it is the same thing as carbon deposit , all conducting parts are not the problem but all insulator must be replace . Salt deposit on insulator is very difficult to clean completely and breakers are more difficult to clean ; they will try to clean but must have high voltage insulating test on each part .

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Re: Emma's engine under water

Postby Big Pete » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:16 am

Hi Al,

Not sure that I agree with you that all breakers will have to be replaced, there will be some huge breakers on a ship like that which will be well worth the cost of stripping cleaning and testing.

BP
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