Korean Register facilitates high quality, optimised conversion of OBO to VLCC


KoreanKorean Register – an IACS member class society – has facilitated the successful conversion of the Madison Orca, a 320,000dwt Ore-Bulk-Oil carrier to a VLCC in a reduced time frame to optimise resources and save cost.

Owned by Monarc and managed by Navig8, the Madison Orca was built in 2010 by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) as one of eight OBOs. Confident forecasting of the tanker markets led Monarc and Navig8 to take the bold step of undertaking the conversion to a VLCC to take advantage of the more promising crude oil markets.

KR was involved throughout the conversion process from the initial planning stages through to the final performance evaluation.

The large scale conversion included the installation of five swash bulkheads located in the centre cargo tank; the removal of the cross deck structure and hatch coamings; and construction of new upper deck structures incorporating an additional 2,300 tonnes of steelwork.

The new swash bulkheads were constructed to a bespoke KR design. Not incorporated as part of the original OBO design, their installation was required to enable partial oil loading in the centre tank.

IACS Common Structural Rules were applied to the new VLCC design.

KR carried out further, more in depth testing to ensure performance and safety by undertaking sloshing analysis using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) due to the breadth of the centre tank being broader than most conventional VLCCs.

Excellent cooperation between Navig8, KR and COSCO (Zhoushan) delivered this conversion project to an exceptionally high standard. The entire process was shortened and made more efficient by KR’s active involvement in the initial design, plan approval and performance evaluation.

Dr C W Kim, KR’s Executive Vice President said: “We are proud to have contributed to the successful completion of this conversion project. We are delighted to have been able to support our customer throughout the entire process from the initial concept discussions right through to the delivery of the vessel.

“Reducing the time required to undertake the conversion has saved resources and cost for our client. We maintain a focus on safety and pride ourselves on operating beyond compliance to deliver an exceptional service to our clients.   Our involvement has resulted in the delivery of a high-quality VLCC and we stand ready to assist all our clients in this way.”