Alewijnse wins Belgian refit contract

Alewijnse has won a contract to refit the electrical systems on board the Belgian research ship, Belgica Alewijnse has won a contract to refit the electrical systems on board the Belgian research ship, Belgica

Netherlands-based system integrator, Alewijnse Marine Systems, has won a significant contract to refit the key electrical systems on board RV Belgica, an oceanographic research vessel owned by the Belgian state.

The RV Belgica celebrated her 30th anniversary in 2014 and renovations are necessary for the ship to continue in active service for another seven years. The vessel is the subject of a maintenance agreement between the Belgian navy and Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque, part of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC).

Alewijnse’s role in the refit will see the company working on a number of critical systems. Projects include the refit of the main switchboard and the replacement of the batteries, CCP system, the control system on diesel equipment in the ECR panel and the navigation lights.

Partial replacement of the window wiper system and a bridge console, and the addition to the fire detection system of a repeater panel and CCTV system are among the other activities to be undertaken. Alewijnse will also deliver new wing panels and a completely new alarm and monitoring system, and perform additional critical support activities such as system commissioning.

The Zeebrugge-based vessel, owned by the Belgian Science Policy Office and crewed by the Belgian navy, was christened in 1984 by Queen Fabiola, and is 50.9m long, 10m wide and draws 4.6m.

The 1,200 tonne ship is made available to Belgian scientists to carry out maritime scientific research. Activities include the monitoring of the water quality of the North Sea, where scientists continuously collect data on the biological, chemical, physical, geological and hydrodynamic processes in the region.

In addition, RV Belgica acts as a floating laboratory for researchers from Belgian universities and scientific institutes seeking to enlarge their knowledge of the marine environment.

Alewijnse has undertaken projects at a number of DSC’s yards, including those at Dunkerque, Vlissingen, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Den Helder. Alewijnse has also successfully serviced equipment on board RV Belgica a number of times in the past. Most recently, in 2015, it was contracted to renew damaged cables and replace some of the starter panels for various pumps and engines as a result of water damage.

The refit will begin in April 2016 and take several months to complete.

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