January 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Keppel Shipyard Converting Ships To Livestock Carriers

The last few years have seen growing interest shown by shipowners in livestock carriers. Also, shipowners have found it more economical to convert an old ship rather than to order a newbuilding for the carriage of cattle or sheep.

Keppel Shipyard in Singapore has had association with the repair, modification and conversion of livestock carriers since 1967, and in only the last few months the yard has handled a total of six livestock carriers.

Two tankers, the Dansborg and the Rosborg, from Weco Shipping of Denmark, are the most notable jobs that Keppel has done in this specialized type of conversion project.

Built in 1962 in Denmark, the 12,500-grt Dansborg was the first tanker to be converted to a sheep carrier by Keppel Shipyard.

Work commenced immediately on her arrival, with a massive clearing operation involving the removal of all her redundant tanker fittings and equipment to make room for the erection of pens, including the relocation of the amidship deckhouse.

Meanwhile, "behind the scene" work was in progress to finalize the structural details of the framework of the sheep pens. To expedite matters, two representatives flew to Copenhagen and Oslo for discussions with the owners and the classification society, Det norske Veritas.

Once the drawings were approved, fabrication work went ahead full swing. Eight tiers of steel framework rising some 39 feet high were erected across 295 feet of deck space. The total length of pipes used as stanchions and rails add up to some 25 miles.

Specially coated plywood was used to construct the platform at each tier except for the lowest tier where the platform was made of checkered steel plates. At the highest level, a roof was constructed of plywood.

Altogether, some 1.2 million square feet of plywood was used. The area is capable of accommodating a total of 30,000 head of sheep.

In the short space of three months, the ship was totally changed and is now not recognizable as having been a tanker.

The chairman of Weco Shipping, E.

Wedell-Wedellsborg, visited Keppel and toured the Dansborg on completion of her conversion and was completely satisfied with the job.

The Rosborg, a 13,133-grt tanker also belonging to Weco shipping, underwent the same operation as the Dansborg.

In the yard at about the same time for a similar conversion operation was the Port Auckland. Built in 1949, the 12,624-grt motorship had been carrying refrigerated cargo for the past 27 years. Her owners, Cunard Steamship Co. Ltd., decided to convert her to a sheep carrier, and the job was awarded to Keppel, amid stiff international competition.

In this case, the sheep were to be carried in holds No. 2, 3, 4 and 5. In all, over 400 pens of different sizes were constructed, giving the ship a capacity of about 25,000 sheep.

Yet another ship, this time a passenger liner, the Khalij Express, came to Keppel for full conversion work for carrying sheep.

Nearly all the vessels that Keppel has worked on ply the Australian/Persian Gulf route, hence the conversion work carried out must comply with the requirements of the Australian Department of Trade regarding the carriage of livestock.

Other stories from January 1977 issue


Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.