Complete catering system from ALMACO serves Queen Mary 2

The scope of the catering system supplied by MacGREGOR food handling technology unit, since May 2005 ALMACO, for Queen Mary 2 encompassed provisions stores, refrigeration machinery and cooling distribution systems, galleys, bars, pantries and refrigerated counters

ALMACO has supplied and installed a complete catering system on Cunard's prestigious Queen Mary 2 newbuilding. This comprises provisions stores, galleys, bars, pantries, refrigerated counters, refrigeration machinery and cooling distribution systems.

Provisions stores

ALMACO supplied all 67 cold store rooms on Queen Mary 2, spread over nine decks and occupying a floor area of 2,057m2. "This is by far the biggest project we have ever had for cold stores," said area sales manager Christian Mellet. "To give an idea of the scale involved, provisions stores outfits that we have installed on recent cruise ship deliveries from Chantiers de l'Atlantique comprised about 20 rooms occupying some 800m2."

Queen Mary 2's cold stores are of three different types: main cold stores area (29 rooms occupying 1,557m2), walk-in cold stores and cold stores in the galley area (35 rooms occupying 359m2) and dry stores (three rooms occupying 141m2).

ALMACO's A-60 rated fire doors are fitted to around 60 to 70 per cent of the cold store rooms. These hinged or sliding doors fully comply with both fire and insulation requirements in a single unit, eliminating the need to fit two adjacent doors to provide fire protection and temperature insulation. Installation costs are therefore reduced, and personnel access to the stores is much improved.

Refrigeration machinery

The Queen Mary 2 contract is also ALMACO's largest order yet for refrigeration machinery. The package comprises brine chiller units, brine pumps, air coolers, piping networks and a control and monitoring system. The plant cools brine to some 60 cold rooms, 300 catering consumers and also some 20 fan coils as a back-up system for air-conditioning technical rooms. In total about 9,000m of insulated pipes are used to circulate the brine solution throughout the ship. The piping system is divided in three networks: one at -33 °C, one at -10 °C and one at +5 °C.

An indirect cooling system using brine was selected by Carnival for environmental reasons. The alternative direct expansion system would have required several tonnes of Freon refrigerant in the piping system running throughout the ship. A system that uses a secondary fluid (brine) circulating in the pipe network reduces the refrigerant charge and minimises the risk of refrigerant leaks.

At the heart of the system are four brine chiller units with screw compressors rated at 1,200kW, 600kW and 2 x 190kW cooling capacity. The 600kW unit also double as the back-up air-conditioning compressor for technical spaces on board the ship.

Galleys, bars & pantries

The contract to supply the galleys, bars and pantries was the result of a close collaboration between the shipowner's naval architects and the shipyard, in which ALMACO participated in supplying design expertise as a pre-contractual service. This meant that the Passenger Ship division's design team was involved during the first stage of the project to design a complete catering technology system, including the lay-out of provisions stores, preparation areas, galleys, bars and pantries.

After cost comparisons between different alternatives, a detailed technical specification was drawn up to simplify discussions between owner and shipyard through a common understanding of the catering systems. All these solutions are compliant with the latest United States Public Health Service (USPHS) rules and regulations, and take into account the ergonomics of all working conditions. The provisions flow has been considered and devised in a way that secures passenger safety in terms of food hygiene.

Altogether some 2,866 different items of equipment have been supplied and installed in eight galleys, 14 bars, 43 pantries and service buffets. Galley/bar/pantry areas occupy a total of 4,070m2, and as the first part of the contract the Passenger Ship division supplied and installed foundations, tiles, ceiling and partitions on a complete system basis, under which ALMACO is fully responsible for compliance with USPHS regulations.

Prefabricated pantries

ALMACO has pioneered the concept of utilising prefabricated pantry units in this contract. Working in close collaboration with the shipyard, ALMACO had originally planned 20 prefabricated units as part of its order for 43 pantries. Due to the shipyard's production requirements this target was reduced to 11 prefabricated units with the remaining 32 units being erected on site. These pantries are located close to the passenger cabins and will be used to support room-service.

Using prefabricated units has several advantages: reduced design time since all units are identical reduced installation time - only transport and connection work is required at the shipyard better and safer installation conditions economies of scale can be applied to manufacture ventilation systems are integrated and tested in the workshop - thus reducing shipboard installation times and costs complete system supply and installation by ALMACO UPSH inspection made easy by using standard approved design.

ALMACO holds a patent for prefabricated pantries gained when it acquired Tanel International in 1999. The Passenger Ship division has since added an ability to supply complete galley, bar and pantry solutions for cruise ships and ferries to the ALMACO portfolio. The Tanel prefabricated pantry concept was advanced and redeveloped for this major contract.

Guaranteed temperatures

By combining the three products - provisions stores, refrigeration machinery and galleys - both owner and shipyard benefit from ALMACO's overall responsibility, simple communications, complete supplies, guaranteed temperatures throughout the whole provisions flow system, and worldwide service.