Merseyside marine engineering firm SeaKing Electrical has completed a contract to upgrade an offshore support tug in the Republic of Congo, western Africa.

The Birkenhead and Aberdeen-based firm, delivered the work for Andofe Shipping Management in the mouth of the Congo River, at Pointe Noire.

SeaKing Electrical Group business development manager, Neil Mellenchip, said work involved fitting parts within the bow thruster control panel and recalibrating the system aboard the AHT Independence.

“This was a terrific deal for SeaKing demonstrating the global reach and ambition of the firm,” said Mr Mellenchip. “It is the latest in a number of international projects which have seen our specialist engineers and technicians working across the globe in places including the Suez Canal, Russia, Malaysia and the Caribbean. The Congo project took around one week to complete. Work was required to the bow thruster which enables the boat to manoeuvre and hold position in the water.

“It is the second time we have delivered electrical engineering for the AHT Independence. We initially carried out work to the vessel in Bidston Dock when she was stationed in the River Mersey. This work involved upgrades to the bow thruster panel and associated wiring. We were recruited by Andofe shipping because the alternative was to wait between 12-16 weeks for an existing supplier to ship in parts. We turned this work around in three weeks. The speed and efficiency with which we delivered the initial work helped place us in a strong position to secure this latest contract.”

The AHT Independence is a 42m, 70 tonns bollard pull, support tug. In 2012 it has been involved in offshore tanker heading operations in Iraq. Further work has seen it delivering general towage, continuous anchor handling and supply duties to offshore projects in Kuwait.

Mellenchip said SeaKing is launching a new business development initiative in 2013 to target the west African oil and gas exploration and drilling market. “A focus in the New Year is being placed on expanding our international work in this geographical territory. We will be targeting this rapidly expanding offshore oil and gas market with our complete electrical engineering and maintenance support offering. We can offer support for a broad range of vessels. However, we are particularly keen to highlight our services for use on dive support vessels and new build ships where we specialise in upgrading contractors equipment.”particularly keen to highlight our services for use on dive support vessels and new build ships where we specialise in upgrading contractors equipment.”