Freeport, Grand Bahama – Graham Couser Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the Grand Bahama Shipyard released a mid-term report on the yard’s 2012/13 season and was optimistic for the balance of the year and the continued quest to be a ‘one-stop shop’ shipyard.

During September 2012 and through to April 2013 the yard is expecting to work on 17 cruise ships. The Carnival Dream docked in September 2012, followed by Carnival Conquest and Carnival Glory; each having the ‘Captain’s Suites’ added to the top of the bridge/wheelhouse.

“The Grand Bahama Shipyard performed these refits as a “turnkey” project,” stated Couser. “This turnkey approach has been in development with Carnival Cruise Lines for a few years and is now coming to full fruition.”  Cosuer noted that the “turnkey” projects are a result of a successful work completed on the Carnival Valor in 2011 at the yard.

2012 finished with “Emerald Princess” of the Holland America Line as well as the “Zuiderdam” and “Ryndam”, all visiting the yard for routine maintenance dockings.  “Simultaneously in 2012 we were a part of the Princess Cruises ADG (Additional Diesel Generator) program,” noted Couser. “A program designed to reduce port emissions.”   GBSY fabricated a hull section for the “Coral Princess”. to contain a Wartsila supplied Diesel Generator and a GEC supplied alternator (for electricity generation), secured to the fabricated block.  Upon the vessel arrival a section of the hull of the ship was cut out and the new unit transported to the dock and successfully installed and welded back to place in fourteen days.

This major project which also included onboard revitalizing projects started 2013 at a great pace at the yard and this continued with the “Seabourn Legend”, Holland America Lines “Statendam” and Carnival’s “Fascination” and “Fantasy” the latter two projects included major steel replacements.

“We are now catching our breath and starting pre-fabrication of aluminum structures that will, when erected to position house some forty additional cabins onboard the Celebrity “Constellation” when it visits the yard in April,” said the Vice-President.  “This is the last of four such revitalization projects, with all being successfully delivered by the yard on time.”

Furthering the overall goal of creating the “one stop shop” yard, the Grand Bahama Shipyard has introduced robotic blasting techniques and equipment, employing such methods effectively reduced time engaged in hull blasting, making the task safer and more efficient than traditional blasting. The units currently being used are the most recent evolution designed and produced by Chariot Robotics, GBSL is the first yard in the world to use these units and Chariot is providing training on operation and maintenance of these units.

In late April the NCL “Pearl” and the Holland America Lines “Nieuw Amsterdam” dock for routine maintenance programs. Regarding future yard developments, Couser was keen to note that the company is pleased with the development of the ‘outfit berth’, formally known as “North Beach.”  “Construction of a new sea wall is in progress,” he explained. “With completion scheduled for late 2013 we will have a fully-serviced berth with 40 and 80 ton crane capacity and a large lay-down area suitable for prefabrication of outfitted units.”

Couser believes this work will lead to new business opportunities for our existing customer base and will give us the edge and possibly open new markets from other marine industry sectors for the yard and Freeport. Confidence for success and continued growth remains high at the yard with the Freeport base being undoubtedly the best location in the Caribbean. “The focus will be to continue to engage and improve services,” said Couser. “We want to increase our market share and ensure our customer’s ambitions are exceeded.”