De Beers mining ship remotely re-engineered

British engineering company Babcock has overseen a major equipment replacement project on a De Beers diamond mining ship from Scotland, although the vessel remained in a port 8,500 miles away in South Africa.
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Package of work included removing two existing engines

Babcock was chosen for the programme of critical integration engineering and detailed design work for the MV !Gariep before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the company expected to send experts to South Africa to complete the work.

The package of work included removing two existing engines, three YANMAR generating sets and one Caterpillar generating set and installing two 3MW Wärtsilä 9L26 medium speed generator sets, new switchboards and two electric propulsion systems.

Babcock's team of engineers and designers had to overcome the UK government's COVID-19 travel restrictions to ensure that it was all integrated with the ship's structure and systems.

The team of engineers and designers were able to use 3D modelling remotely to integrate the equipment with the ship's structure and systems.

"I was excited when I heard we were awarded the De Beers contract and assumed the project would be based in South Africa. I was amazed to discover that the project would be carried out in Rosyth," said Scott Davidson, mechanical engineer at Babcock Rosyth.

"We were provided with a 3D laser scan of the compartments affected by the upgrade on the !Gariep vessel along with system drawings. Using this technology we are able to build up a 3D model of the structures, equipment and systems which would remain once the old equipment had been removed."

The technology and the 3D model enabled 1.3km of piping, as well as HVAC and cable routings, to all be fitted largely clash free, said Babcock.