Long series for IHC Merwede

Alan Thorpe
Thursday, November 7, 2013

Over recent months, IHC Merwede’s Offshore Division has been successful in securing orders for the design, engineering and construction of a total of 10 pipe-laying vessels. These vessels will be built in the covered hall at the IHC Krimpen facility.

Image: The Seven Waves following launch at IHC Merwede. Photo: Alan Thorpe

The main order comes from Subsea 7 for seven vessels, all of which will be chartered out to Brazil’s Petrobras. The original order from Subsea 7 was for four ships. The first in the series, the Seven Waves, having already been launched and is due for delivery during the first quarter of 2014. Seabras Sapura, the partnership between SapuraKencana and Seadrill, also had three similar ships on order. Then, during August this year, IHC Merwede received another order, worth €1 billion, for another six sisterships – three each for Subsea 7 and Sapura.

IHC Merwede will supply three fully integrated pipe-laying vessels to Seabras Sapura. These will include the complete pipe-laying spreads, which comprise a twin-tensioner tilting lay tower, two below-deck baskets and support equipment for the loading, spooling and routing of products. The integrated automation system, full electrical installation and electrical machinery package will also be designed and delivered by IHC Merwede. In addition, to assist Seabras Sapura in the training of its offshore personnel, a pipe-laying simulator will be provided. When combined with existing orders, the confirmation of this latest agreement means that IHC Merwede is now working on a total of six pipe-laying vessels for Seabras Sapura. The first of these ships, the Sapura Diamanta, was launched in late September.

New designs from Damen

During August, Damen Shipyards Galati (Roumania) handed over the second PSV in a series heralding a new era in offshore construction for Damen Shipyards Group. World Peridot, built to Damen’s innovative PSV 3300 design, has been delivered to World Wide Supply (WWS) and comes just seven weeks after the handover of the first of class PSV 3300, World Diamond, and is part of a six-ship series.

New designs from Damen Group include: oil spill response vessels, survey vessels, ROV support vessel, construction vessels, Arctic study vessels, and cable layers. Damen is also working on a 120m Arctic Fast Inspection Repair and Maintenance (FIRM) vessel, which will normally operate at 22 knots in flat water. Other new designs include an LNGpowered PSV, which is being developed with assistance from Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) and Finland’s Aker Arctic, this design also including an Arctic version.

Within the Damen Group there are 35 shipyards, with two new yards in Sharjah and Vietnam due to open very shortly. The Sharjah facility has a syncrolift for repair and newbuilding operations - an order for two Stan Tugs is already signed. The Vietnam facility is due to open during Q1 of next year, and will concentrate in the design and building of 60m workboats.

More newbuilds for Sea Trucks Group

Sea Trucks Group (STG) is currently increasing its fleet by two newbuildings, the first, the Jascon 18, is currently undergoing outfitting operations in Singapore’s Kwon Soon Engineering, the hull having been built in China. She is due for delivery in Q3 of 2014. The second newbuilding, the Jascon 35, is currently in China, where the hull is complete.

STG has a large operational office in Rotterdam, and operates a fleet of five specialized DP3 offshore construction vessels, with the two more newbuilding on their way. STG has a philosophy of having ships, which operate in three main offshore sectors – pipe-laying, heavy lift and accommodation - all its vessels having all three functions.

The main area of operation is West Africa, where three ships are booked for projects in Nigeria (2) and Angola (1) for the next 18 months. Another of the fleet is currently on a similar time charter offshore Australia.

Arctic design from Ulstein

Recently Ulstein’s Rotterdam office has been involved in Hereema Marine’s new Deepwater Construction Vessel (DCV) Aegir, which is about to enter operation. This vessel is capable of executing complex infrastructure and pipeline projects in ultra-deep water, while offering sufficient lifting capacity to install platforms in relatively shallow water. What makes Aegir even more unique is that it is the first vessel in the world to make use of a portable reel system, which offers huge time savings as she no longer needs to sail back and forth to shore.

Image: The Aegir at Huisman’s yard in Rotterdam. Photo: Huisman

The Aegir was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). In Schiedam earlier this year, she arrived at the Huisman Yard, where the pipe-lay equipment was installed, including J-lay - Heavy J-lay: 2000m (using collar clamps) - Light J-lay: 600m (using friction clamps) Rigid Reel lay – 800m Flex lay – 520m. This followed the supply of lifting equipment onboard Subsea 7’s Seven Borealis, which was built in Singapore by Sembawang Shipyard. Aegir’s first project will be the installation of risers at a depth of 2000m in the Lucius field in the Gulf of Mexico for Anadarko.

Another current project is the Deepwater Enabler, a multi-purpose offshore construction vessel (MOCV) to be built at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). The DP 3 vessel is designed and equipped for ultra-deepwater installation and construction, flexible lay, pipe-lay, cable lay and topside construction support.

For the Arctic, Ulstein has come up with two main ideas. The first is the Ulstein XDS 3600 design, which is a 227.6m drillship with 20,000psi well control equipment, dual derrick configuration, a second BOP and a folddown drill tower patented by Norway’s Northern Light Solutions.

The second design is the Ulstein AXDS concept of an arctic drillship, which would have an operational profile out of the range of existing drill ships. Winterization of existing design would not meet defined requirements therefore it has been designed from scratch with proven components. The vessel would be able to operate in ice-thicknesses of between 1.2m and1.5m. This concept was prompted by Norway’s Statoil, which solicited bids for an arctic design, which would be required in the future.

More FPSO contracts for SBM

SBM is involved in the Cidade de Ilhabela project - the conversion of a VLCC to a FPSO, the marine work being carried out by China’s Chengxi Shipyard, Guangzhou. The process modules will be installed at SBM’s Brasa yard in Rio de Janeiro and the FPSO will enter service for Petrobras by March 2015.

Image: The Cidade de Ilhabela undergoing conversion work in Chengxi Shipyard. Photo: SBM

SBM has also recently signed a contract with Petrobras for the supply of two further FPSOs – the Cidade de Marica and the Cidade de Saquarena, both being converted VLCCs. SBM will again use Chengxi Shipyard for the marine work and Brasa yard for the installation of the process modules - deliveries due at the end of 2015 and early 2016.

Another recent contract is Shell’s Stones project, which involves the supply of a FPSO to the Gulf of Mexico under a 10-year lease to Shell. This conversion is underway in Singapore’s Keppel Shipyard and is due for delivery during 2016. An interesting aspect of this unit is that it has to be hurricane-safe, with the turret having the capability to be removed during the hurricane season, the FPSO leaving the area while the turret is positioned below sea level, and then reconnected after the hurricane has past.

Apart from the FPSO conversion market, SBM is also extensively involved in the FPSO life-extension market, involving the refurbishment of existing FPSOs. Currently SBM is working on the Kiki FPSO, which was originally converted by MSE (now MMHE) in Malaysia. OE


Categories: Equipment Europe Vessels Construction Pipelay Vessel Deepwater Engineering Design South America

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