Thordon Bearings and Drydocks World-Dubai (DDW-D) signed an agreement under which the UAE-based shipyard will work together with Thordon Bearings Inc. to promote the conversion of ships’ oil lubricated propeller shafts to Thordon’s COMPAC open seawater lubricated bearing system.
The agreement will create an action plan in which a specialist team, comprised of Drydocks World-Dubai and Thordon Bearings’ personnel, offer support to ship managers and owners looking to ensure their vessels are fully compliant with environmental legislation prohibiting the discharge of oil from the oil-to-sea interface of ships’ propeller shafts. Shipowners could face substantial financial penalties if their vessels are found to be non-compliant.
Leaking shaft seals are known to be a significant contributor to on-going pollution at sea. The use of biodegradable lubricants, which are an improvement over mineral oils, are still a very expensive option for shipowners and some are having seal compatibility issues. Even biodegradable lubricants still need to be reported to authorities when discharges occur. Thordon provides a solution that uses seawater as the lubricant that meets all regulations, eliminating any risk of oil pollution.
“Seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearing systems are less complicated and time-consuming to install than oil lubricated systems, providing clear commercial advantages for the customers,” said Terry McGowan, President and CEO of Thordon Bearings. “There are fewer components, fewer pipe-runs and no air equipment is required with a seawater lubricated system. Plus, with recent class society rule changes, seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearing systems no longer have a pre-determined shaft withdrawals as long as certain monitoring conditions are met”
He added: “This new partnership agreement provides a win-win situation for both parties. DDW-D will stand to benefit from having new customers and a new revenue stream with oil-to-water conversions, while Thordon Bearings will benefit from supplying the COMPAC seawater lubricated bearing equipment for upcoming conversion projects.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Thordon Bearings will also provide equipment, training and guidance to Drydocks World-Dubai personnel and support the yard in carrying out propeller shaft conversion projects.