Incorrect maintenance and repair is primary cause of main engine damage
A new report from The Swedish Club, a mutual marine insurer based in Gothenburg, Sweden, has revealed that incorrect maintenance and repair continues to be the most frequent cause of main engine damage – an unchanged trend for almost 10 years.
The report, Main Engine Damage, issued on 16 November is available on The Swedish Club’s website. The Club examined 1,000 hull and machinery claims for over 5,400 vessel years of statistics.
“Main engine damage makes up nearly 35 percent of machinery claims costs,” said Lars Malm, director, strategic business development and client relationship. “It is the most expensive category of claim, with an average cost of over half a million US dollars 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.”
Lubrication failure is still the costliest cause of damage to the main engine, with an average cost per claim of USD926,000, due to consequential damage to expensive parts such as crankshafts.
“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,” said Malm. “It is a catalogue of errors that can only be remedied by the implementation of a proper management system, backed up by comprehensive audit and inspection.”
The report contains good news for the Korean shipbuilding industry: vessels built in Korea, which account for almost 31 percent of The Swedish Club’s entries, have contributed to only 12 percent of the total cost of main engine claims in the last three years.
The Swedish Club experienced 487 machinery claims in the 2012–2014 period, costing a total of USD 187.6 million. Main engine damage remains the most expensive category, contributing 34.3 percent of total machinery claims cost (30.4 percent in the earlier period) and 12.7 percent (10.9 percent) of the total H&M claims cost. Despite the rise in claims cost share, the average cost of a main engine claim has reduced by 14.0 percent compared to the previous survey period. The average cost of main engine damage between 20052011 was almost USD 634,000. The latest survey records 118 main engine claims averaging USD 545,000 which is a 14 percent decrease.