Oleg set to join the SHL fleet

March 2, 2011

Seaway Heavy Lifting will shortly take delivery of its second heavylift crane vessel, the state-of-the-art Oleg Strashnov. David Morgan looks at some of the new HLV 's novelties and niceties.

The Oleg Strashnov has been a while coming but Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL) is no doubt that the new crane vessel, with its huge lifting capacity, impressive deck space and high transit speeds, was worth the wait.

Past editions of OE have recorded the offshore exploits of the Stanislav Yudin – the company's other heavylift crane vessel – as it has serviced its favoured North Sea and Middle East operating patches over the years and occasionally ventured further east (OE April 2008). But increasingly SHL's clients were indicating the need for larger lift capacity, so in 2004 the company responded by producing the conceptual design for a new vessel. Following a three-year design and engineering phase, building began in 2007 and in November last year Oleg Strashnov successfully completed its sea trials.

The new DNV 1A1-classified crane vessel, with a deck space of approximately 3500m2, has a huge crane lifting capacity of 5000t for the main hook (with lift heights of 100m), and 800t for the auxiliary hook (reaching heights of 132m), suitable for dual hook upending of large jackets, heavy deck installations and deepwater template installation. SHL considered such a large lifting capacity necessary, because current market trends predict even larger, heavier topsides and jackets to be lifted in the future.

To ensure optimal workability in adverse weather conditions, the vessel was designed with dual hull widths of 47m and 37.8m. The vessel is ballasted down to a depth required to provide it with sufficient stability to carry out the lifts. At a shallow draft with narrower width, only cutting through the water plane, the vessel is expected to have a substantially better workability than similar vessels of its kind. Moreover, the narrower width enables the vessel to mobilise at a sailing speed of 14 knots, a rarity with vessels of this size.

A full DP3 system (requiring a staggering 26,500kW of installed power) enables the ship to position itself alongside a fixed or floating platform structure. This feature will not go unremarked in SHL's marketing of the new vessel – among its prime installation targets are modules on FPSO's or on existing platforms, large and heavy templates in ultra-deepwater, spars and their foundations and topsides, as well as TPL's.

‘FPSO's may require additional or replacement modules, when new wells are tied back to the vessel,' explains SHL marketing and business development manager Aart Ligterink. ‘Installing modules in the field means there is virtually no lost production, operational risk is reduced and fewer offshore manhours are required, consequently enabling huge financial savings for the client.'

According to Ligterink, swift mobilisation will be assured by the new vessel's 14-knot sailing speed capability, made possible he says by a patented and largely in-house developed ship-shape hull design, into which SHL has built its considerable offshore installation expertise and learnings over the years. ‘We are a reputable company, with a strong focus on future growth,' says Ligterink. ‘Our goal is remaining a recognized industry-wide, reliable and innovative heavy lift contractor for our clients worldwide, with the Oleg Strashnov as a current milestone in our company's history.' OE



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