Raising the heavylift stakes

Meg Chesshyre
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Rotterdam-based Jumbo is boosting the capacity of its heavylift fleet with orders for two K-3000 vessels which, as the name implies, offer a tandem lift capacity of 3000te. The in-house designed K-3000 vessels are being built at the Brodosplit shipyard at Split in Croatia. The design features a large hold, flush deck and Finnish- Swedish ice class 1A, making them suitable for projects in the Arctic region.

The first vessel, ordered last autumn, is due for delivery from the shipyard summer 2013, and, after crane installation, should be ready for operation in the autumn. The second, an option taken up in April, should be ready by end-2013. The first vessel was originally ordered with twin 1300te cranes, but after careful consideration and engineering studies, Jumbo decided to upgrade the crane capacity of both vessels from 1300te to 1500te, enabling tandem lifts of 3000te.

Patrick van Eerten, Jumbo's director of operations and offshore, explains: We decided that this is a time to build as the shipyards are willing to give you a good price, but once the ships come online, we feel that there is a market for even bigger pieces. These vessels can lift significantly more than others giving the clients the opportunity to build bigger and heavier pieces and transport them to wherever they are needed.

We are looking to co-operate with partners that are our size so that we can service the smaller projects. Patrick van Eerten

The company already has an established track record in the offshore wind farm sector and is currently installing 111 transition pieces at Dong Energy's Anholt development offshore Denmark. The project, which began in April, is being carried out by the J-class DP2 vessel Jumbo Javelin, one of four J-class vessels in Jumbo's fleet. The Javelin was outfitted for the project in March with a new, removable 50-bed accommodation unit, supplied by Holland Shipyard, which Jumbo now owns. The work at the Anholt offshore wind farm should be completed this month.

Jumbo Vision at work on the Sea Rose moonpool cover plate.

Further afield, the Jumbo Jubilee is nearing the end of a contract on the Chevron-operated Gorgon project in Australia. Jumbo is transporting 25 concrete caissons from Malaysia to Barrow Island, where they are installed from the J-class vessel straight into position to create a heavy lift port facility.

In the offshore oil & gas sector Jumbo was recently awarded a contract by Technip to install a module on the deck of Murphy Oil's Kikeh spar offshore Malaysia, using Fairplayer. Scheduled for September/October time, this represents a return visit for Jumbo. Foundation piles for the spar were originally installed by Jumbo Javelin in 2008.

A recent job has been for Subsea7 on Husky Oil's Sea Rose field offshore Newfoundland, Canada involving the wet storage of a moonpool cover plate using the Jumbo Vision. Jumbo brought the cover plate to the site, and placed it on the seabed, ready to be picked up and put into place by the FPSO prior to transit to Belfast's Harland & Wolff yard for drydocking.

A shipping job at the very limit of Jumbo's capacity at the time was the transport of an 1800t J-lay tower for Acergy, first taken on Jumbo's Fairpartner to Africa in 2006 for installation on the Acergy Polaris, then returned last September to Flushing in the Netherlands. Now it has been installed on the newbuild Seven Borealis.

Jumbo Javelin installing a transition piece at Dong's Anholt wind farm development.

Van Eerten says the intention in the future is to have the two DP2 J-class vessels Jumbo Javelin and Fairplayer permanently working in the offshore market. The company's innovative and patented Deepwater Deployment System (OE November 2011) is mainly deployed from Fairplayer, but can be transferred to other vessels if required. The DDS gives Jumbo its deepwater capability and enables structures to be lifted from the deck and placed on the seabed without the need for subsea transfer.

The two K-class vessels will be delivered ready for DP, to be fitted when the need arises. The K-3000 vessels will basically be targeting the same markets as the J-Class units, which move between general shipping, offshore and renewables depending on where the work is.

Oil & gas related transport is seen as a promising market for the new vessels. The huge Yamal LNG project in the Arctic, for instance, will require the transportation of many modules built in Asia. We see the Arctic developing for transport as well as offshore installations, notes van Eerten. There is deepwater work to be done in the Arctic and I guess we're one of the few players who actually have the ice-class and deepwater capabilities.

In addition to its Rotterdam headquarters, Jumbo has its own offices in Perth, Houston, Korea, Japan, India, Singapore and China plus numerous agents, some of whom have worked with the company for over 30 years. The company's international presence was further expanded a year ago with the addition of an agent in Brazil Tecnoil focusing on both on the offshore and shipping sectors.

Van Eerten sees a particular market slot for Jumbo Offshore. With the consolidation of more of the big contractors like Technip and Subsea7, we see a market opening up underneath. We are looking to co-operate with partners that are our size so that we can service the smaller projects. He cites FPSO installation and redeployment between marginal fields as typical projects for the company.

I think for the industry as a whole it's a logical movement. You see it in other industries as well where consolidation results in smaller companies offering more efficient, tailor-made services to the smaller independents, for instance. That is where we think we are. Meg Chesshyre

Categories: Activity Vessels Europe Design Engineering

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