Work on the Stena Forth, a 748-foot drilling ship owned by Stena Drilling of Sweden and homeported in Aberdeen, Scotland, is being coordinated by Maine-based Cianbro Corp. The company is leasing space at Prock Marine’s Front Street location in Rockland.

According to Cianbro Corp. President Andi Vigue, Prock is also providing support for the project to replace three of the Stena Forth‘s six thrusters, as are several tugboat operators and the Maine Maritime Academy.

About 25 Cianbro employees are engaged in the project, in which the following local businesses are also involved, according to Cianbro Project Manager Brian Rancourt: Sunbelt Rentals, Peavey Manufacturing Company, O’Hara Corporation, Mill Valley Splicing Co., Maine Marine Supply, Keeley Crane Service, Island Transporter LLC, I & I Sling, Harding Company, Hamilton Marine, Equinox Island Transit LLC, and Constellation Maritime Co.

The Stena Forth currently lies about a mile off the Rockland Breakwater in Penobscot Bay. Repairs on the ship are expected to take about two weeks.

The ship carries up to 180 crew members, displaces 105,822 tons, and is equipped with a helipad and automatic escape pods in case of emergencies at sea. Each of the three thrusters being replaced weighs 43 tons.

While a number of people continue to work above decks on the Stena Forth, the work of replacing the ship’s thrusters is taking place below the surface of Penobscot Bay waters, Vigue said.

He said the work, which is scheduled to be completed by July 1, is progressing according to plan, but the weather can always change plans at sea.

“We need very slack water,” Vigue said. “When the wind picks up, it’s rainy and seas pick up, it slows us down.”

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Laura Van Der Pol said Sector Northern New England is coordinating communications between the contractors and the Maine Departments of Marine Resources and Environmental Protection to ensure possible impacts and risks are considered.

“When a big ship comes in we think about potential hazards for other waterway users and how recreational vessels impact the crew doing the repairs,” she said. “It’s not very often that a 750-foot ship anchors in Penobscot Bay.”

The Herald Gazette Reporter Shlomit Auciello can be reached at 207-236-8511 or by e-mail at sauciello@villagesoup.com.