A report from The Swedish Club reveals that incorrect maintenance and repair continues to be the most frequent cause of main engine damage – a trend which has continued unabated since the club began monitoring the issue nearly 10 years ago.
The report, 'Main Engine Damage' reviews more than 1,000 hull and machinery claims relating to over 5,400 vessel years of statistics. “Main engine damage makes up nearly 35% of machinery claims costs,” says Lars Malm, Director, Strategic Business Development and Client Relationship for The Swedish Club.
“It is the most expensive category of claim with an average cost of over half a million USD per claim. Yet most engine damage, as with so many claims we see in many different areas of our business, remains related to incorrect repairs and maintenance. Numerous cases have been noted where damage occurs shortly after the engines have been overhauled by ship or shore staff.”
And with an average cost per claim of $926,000, lubrication failure is still the most costly cause of damage to the main engine, due to consequential damage to expensive parts such as crankshafts for example.
“We are seeing crew with insufficient experience and training; experts not in attendance at major overhauls; contaminated lubrication oil and contaminated bunkers; and engine components not operated or overhauled as per management instructions,” explains Malm. ”It is a catalogue of errors which can only be remedied by the implementation of a proper management system, backed up by comprehensive audit and inspection.”
The 'Main Engine Damage' report contains good news for the Korean shipbuilding industry. It points out that vessels built in Korea, which account for almost 31 percent of the club’s entries, have contributed to only 12 percent of the total cost of main engine claims in the last three years.
Despite technical advances since the Swedish Club published its last report in 2011, vessels with low-speed engines still suffer proportionally fewer claims than those with medium and high speed engines, with 57% of club entries in this category responsible for only 40% of main engine claims cost.