Drilling ship "Stena Forth" in Maine for repairs

5:52 PM, Jun 17, 2010   |    comments
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ROCKLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The world's largest oil drilling ship has dropped anchor in Penobscot Bay. But the "Stena Forth" isn't there to drill -- the 750-foot ship has come to Maine to be fixed.

The "Stena Forth" is registered in the United Kingdom, and travels the world drilling oil wells.

The ship has what's called a dynamic positioning system, and instead of traditional propellers, she is powered by six, huge propulsion units called thrusters. Three of those units have problems, so the owners of the "Stena" called Cianbro Corporation in Maine for help.

The well-known construction company will remove the three thrusters, which resemble gigantic outboard motors, and replace them with new ones. And while company engineers and planners describe it as a somewhat routine job, to the outsider it seems anything but routine.

Crews will use barges and cranes to hold the 80-ton thrusters in place underneath the ship while commercial divers unbolt them from the hull. Then they will lift the units out, and lower the new ones into place, where divers will bolt them to the hull.

Cianbro expects the work will take about five days. After that the ship will go through sea trials to test everything out before turning to the world of drilling for oil. Cianbro says it has about 25 of its own people on the job, along with contract divers and other contractors.

The work will go on round the clock to meet the timetable the "Stena Forth" needs. Brian Rancourt, project manager for the job, says they hope this project will lead to more work in the future with Stena and other companies in the oil business, as they learn what Cianbro can do.


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