November 26, 2015

BOURBON has 6 Repair Centers for maintenance periods for its vessels, including one center in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. A guided tour with its manager, Jean-Pierre Nezet.

"At BOURBON, a Repair Center is a key element of our maintenance process, a structure for storing the replacement parts essential to the engines, propellers, and other parts of our vessels," says Jean-Pierre Nezet, superintendent of the Repair Center at Port Harcourt. "We also call it a showstopper. Here we have 3 staff members to manage it."                                                   

What's the mission of a Repair Center? Providing the critical equipment that BOURBON vessels need for emergency repairs or planned maintenance periods. Interventions performed at a carefully-selected external site, "…are still under the supervision of a BOURBON superintendent. We maintain the project management over maintenance operations," says Jean-Pierre Nezet.


  • 50 workers on site
  • 1 BOURBON superintendent per vessel
  • Between 15 and 20 vessels per year for planned maintenance periods (scheduled every 2 ½ years)
  • Between 3 weeks and 1 month per period
  • 96 % technical availability rate for BOURBON vessels (with an initial target of 95%) 


As part of a maintenance period, the vessels are led into a dry dock, or sometimes floating dock. "On the agenda: cleaning and painting the hull, overhaul and oil change on the bow thrusters and azimuth thrusters, an inspection of the electric motors, etc." explains Jean-Pierre Nezet. After completing these operations, sea trials are carried out in the presence of supervisors from vessel certification companies.

What if a part needs to be replaced and it's not available locally? "We contact our purchasing center in Dubai to find out which of the five other Repair Centers can supply us with it. For example, in July, we ordered a bow thruster from the Repair Center in Namibia for one of our vessels. If necessary," he explains, "we will order the missing part directly from the manufacturer."

" Maintenance operations are standardized for more performance. Yet no two maintenance periods are alike."




"While maintenance operations are standardized for more performance, no two maintenance periods are alike. You never face the same problems. You can inspect an engine, think that everything is in order but now, little by little, you discover that some parts could be replaced..." explains Jean-Pierre Nezet. Being prepared for the unexpected is essential. But it is also, he says, what makes this job "challenging and exciting! "

Ensuring service continuity

Planned Maintenance Periods (PMPs) are the cornerstone of our fleet management strategy. Thanks to these periodic in-depth overhauls, we have achieved our vessel technical availability rate goal of 95%.


Bourbon behind the scenes