Propelled Forward by Necessity

Pages 64-65

For MEST Shipyard, with more than 120 years of experience, innovation and advanced technology are vital to continued success—it takes more than hammers and torch cutters to build and repair ships in the modern era.

[Bui Tyril & Edmund Jacobsen]

Modern shipyards are about much more cutting-edge skills and technology than meets the eye. Staffed with some 300 experienced and skilled craftsmen, including engineers, mechanics, welders, electricians and more—and equipped with top-notch machinery and tools—the Faroe Islands’ MEST Shipyard is widely relied on for offering repairs, maintenance and services for a diverse range of vessels.

“In this day and age, quite a lot more than traditional blue collar skills are needed to stay relevant and competitive,” said CEO Mouritz Mohr. “As this business moving forward, our focus on modern design, innovation and technology has increased significantly in the past few years. We have noted growing demand, largely propelled by recent developments in the pelagic fishery and aquaculture industries, two major industries in the Faroe Islands. These have to a great extent been the driving force for the development and change we’ve seen of late.”

The emphasis on advanced technology has thus become integral to the core business of the yard, Mr. Mohr added, pointing out, as an example, that MEST is the only yard within a very large radius in the Northeast Atlantic that is equipped with an ABB balancing machine for turbo chargers.

An in-house engineering and drawing department has always remained critical to planning and preparatory work at MEST. Today’s 13-strong design and development team consists of highly trained mechanical engineers and naval architects, able to offer competitive solutions in consultancy, design, and project management. The department is equipped with state-of-the-art software such as Shipshape, ANSYS and Autodesk for stability calculations, engineering simulation and computer-aided design.

New oceanic research vessel

MEST is currently in the process of completing its 113th newbuild, a highly sophisticated research vessel for the Faroe Islands’ official Marine Research Institute (Havstovan). The ship, awash with the latest technologies for scientific analyses and related processes—alongside navigation, communication, fish finding and catch—is scheduled for completion in 2020.

“We are proud to have been chosen for the design and construction of this vessel,” Mr. Mohr said. “The contract is the largest in the history of our yard and will generate new jobs as well as creating valuable expertise for MEST with regard to shipbuilding. The new vessel will be smaller than the average marine research ship, however it will have the equivalent standard technologically as similar ships used by other Nordic countries.”

Other current shipbuilding projects include a trawler for a Norwegian owner and several service vessels for the Faroese aquaculture businesses. The service vessels are a  relatively new breed of catamarans, renown for excellent performance at sea and the ability to operate in tough weather conditions.

MEST Shipyard is a modern yard with traditions dating back to 1898 in shipbuilding, conversions, repairs and maintenance. Headquartered in Tórshavn, with additional locations at Skála and Runavík, the yard has three slipways and one dry dock and a slip capacity of up to 2,500 tonnes; the company has several modern and spacious workshops and can provide re-buildings and repairs of vessels up to 120 meters. In addition to the two yards, in Tórshavn and at Skála, respectively, MEST has a production unit for stainless steel processing equipment and components, based in Runavík.

Services are offered for all systems and sections of a vessel, including deck machinery, cranes, cylinders, valves, engine blocks, propulsion systems, and more. As most companies with marine activities have become more aware of cost-saving, preemptive maintenance has become more important. MEST today has a number of contracts with vessels as well as onshore facilities to keep equipment in top notch condition via regular technical vibration analysis by MEST experts.

Innovation is in fact a basic necessity to get things done in the Faroe Islands, sales and marketing manager Richard M. Mortensen commented. “In all our offerings—ranging from shipbuilding through repairs to the whole array of services—the innovative spirit and the flexibility that goes with it is part of our fundamental values,” he said. “To survive as a business in the Faroe Islands, flexibility is an absolute requirement.”

“MEST Shipyard has become a much used service provider, not only for the Faroese but also for a wide range of clients from Iceland, Russia, Scotland, Norway, Greenland and other countries. We are able to draw from more than 120 years of experience in shipbuilding and ship repair. In addition to our two yards we have mobile teams able to deliver on-site service and repairs in all Faroese harbors on very short notice.”

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