Depth of experience

Occupying the position of Croatia’s leading shipyard, Uljanik Brodogradilište is also the majority enterprise of the Uljanik Group. The shipyard’s roots go as far back as 1856 when it operated as an Austro-Hungarian naval shipyard, and it is named after the islet at the town of Pula, where the company’s steel fabrication and ship hull construction activities are still located. Other companies within the group include Uljanik Engineering Industry, which has been manufacturing diesel engines under licence from Burmeister & Wain since 1953.

Drawing on its workforce of 2000 employees Uljanik Brodogradilište has the construction capacity for six to seven new build vessels each year. The shipyard has experience in building various types of ships including container vessels, passenger ships, liquid cargo ships and tankers, roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) carriers, wagon carriers, reefers, and dredgers.

Since 1951 Uljanik Brodogradilište has delivered over 200 new build vessels, totalling in excess of six million tonnes deadweight (tdw), to buyers on all five continents. This spectrum ranges from Russia, Italy, Israel, China and India, through to Norway, Germany and Sweden, where notable clients include Grimaldi Group, Jan De Nul, Ray Car Carriers, CMA CGM, IRISL, Krupp, Stena, Shipping Corporation of India, Novoship, and Höegh.

Uljanik Brodogradilište works in co-operation with its buyers, designing and building sophisticated ships for a variety of purposes in a range from 10,000 dwt to 80,000 dwt, in line with client requests. In terms of shipbuilding, the shipyard is limited by the length of the berths from which the vessel hulls are launched, to a maximum one-piece hull length of 225 metres. However the company is also able to accommodate very large crude carriers (VLCC) through its innovative process of building ship hulls in two halves and then joining them afloat.

Expanding further on the shipyard’s credentials, managing director Marinko Brgić, says: “Uljanik Brodogradilište has co-operated with many supervision and classification societies such as DNV, Lloyd’s Register, RINA, Bureau Veritas, Russian Register, and Croatian Register, and is a member of the Croatian Shipbuilding Corporation. The vessels are built according to our own design and construction documentation through the application of our in-house CAD-CAM capabilities and quality system, which is certified to the ISO 9001 quality standard and ISO 14001 environmental management system. We also work in collaboration with many leading suppliers including Rolls Royce, Wartsila, MAN Diesel & Turbo, Emerson, Liebherr, TTS-LMG, Raytheon, and Cargotec.”

At present Uljanik Brodogradilište is in the midst of a major contract producing four self-propelled cutter suction dredgers for the Jan De Nul Group. These technically complex ships are used for dredging waterways, building wharfs and artificial islands, and dredging coastlines. Uljanik Brodogradilište’s new build vessels are the largest and most powerful cutter dredgers in this class, able to reach a dredging sea depth of 36.6 metres, incorporating the experience and technical innovations of both Uljanik Brodogradilište and Jan De Nul Group. The ship is capable of dredging, through cutting and simultaneous suction techniques, compacted sand, stiff clay, rock, and similar soils. The excavated material is unloaded by the PS or SB side spuds into barges or through a swivel to a floating pipeline to the shore at a distance of about ten kilometres.

Given that there are currently only six similar vessels in the world, this contract places Uljanik Brodogradilište within the few global shipyards, which has experience in building this type of floating unit. “It is a fact that never before in the world have there been four dredgers of this type under construction at the same time in one shipyard, which in itself says a lot about the project in question,” highlights Marinko. “This contract is also an acknowledgement of, and trust in, the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of the shipyard’s workforce to build such a complex floating unit.”

A major achievement of Uljanik Brodogradilište’s designers within this project has been its electric distribution and automation solutions with approximately 330 kilometres of cabling installed in each dredger. Each vessel has three MAN diesel engines, each with 7200 kW power at 500 rpm, which in turn drives three main alternating generators producing a total power of 21 megawatts (MW). This is equivalent to the electrical energy used by a small town of 25,000 inhabitants, and will be used to operate the dredger’s equipment including three giant five MW pumps. The ship is approximately 2200 dwt at its minimum draught of 5.75 m, and can develop speeds of 13 knots. On the open deck one hydraulic travelling deck crane, two 350 kilonewtons (kN) and one ten kN hydraulic store cranes are installed.

Currently two of the four vessels have been delivered – the ‘Ibn Battuata’ in May 2010 and the ‘Zheng He’ in October 2010, with the other two due to follow throughout 2011. In addition, Uljanik Brodogradilište’s collaboration with the Jan De Nul Group has been further expanded by a recent contract for the construction of two Hopper dredger vessels. These contracts are testament to the shipyard’s strong technological capabilities, which have been achieved and confirmed by generations of employees. Continuing to push this expertise ever further though the construction of sophisticated vessels for the more demanding buyers on the world’s market, Uljanik Brodogradilište is internationally recognised as a leader in its class. v

Croatia’s leading shipyard

Constructs sophisticated vessels

Major contract for four complex dredgers