Offshore Service Vessels

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News

Flexible fuels, Bold designs ... “It’s not your father’s OSV”


Eastern Shipbuilding Group has arguably been one of the more progressive and aggressive U.S. builders of high-spec Offshore Service Vessels in recent years, winning a number of high-profile contracts for operators globally. Eastern recently delivered M/V HOS Red Dawn and christened M/V HOS Renaissance, both for Hornbeck Offshore Services, LLC.
HOS Red Dawn (H201) – now delivered – was launched on February 15, 2013. HOS Red Rock (H202) was launched April 19, 2013, and is currently at Eastern completing final outfitting, regulatory and DP-2 trials. Delivery was scheduled for this month. HOS Renaissance (H203) is the third of four vessels designated as the HOSMAX 300 series by Hornbeck Offshore. The vessels are capable of a maximum speed of 14 knots with a cruising speed of 12 knots. The remaining six Offshore Supply Vessels under contract are 302 x 64 x 26 ft. designated HOSMAX 310 Offshore Support Vessels. The total below-deck capacities of the HOSMAX 310 include 285,649 gals of diesel fuel, 609,227 gals of drill/ballast water, 21,509 barrels of liquid mud, 14,347 cu. ft. of dry-bulk mud, 2,212 barrels of methanol and 62,538 gal. of potable water.
In early August Eastern Shipbuilding also christened and launched M/V Bravante VI for Boldini S.A., Bravante Group of Brazil, the second vessel in a series of five.
The second of five vessels is a series are ABS A-1, SOLAS/IMO, FFV-1, DPS-2, AC Diesel-Electric powered, twin propulsion PSV’s. These high-tech vessels feature four Cummins 16-cylinder turbo-charged IMO Tier II diesel generator engines each rated at 1825 kW at 1,800 rpm. Cummins also furnished the four Marathon Model 744 690VAC main generators. Main propulsion power is provided by two 690VAC electric motors driving two Schottel Combi-Drives Single Fixed Pitch Propellers with Nozzles rated at 2,500 kW at 750 rpm each for a total of 6,700 hp. Schottel also provides two STT 4 Fixed Pitch Reversing Tunnel Thrusters rated at 1,180 kW at 1,170 rpm, each with direct coupled Hyundai 690VAC electric motors. GE Energy provides the complete system integrated diesel electric package, including the thruster drives, motors, control systems, DP system, switchboards, motor control centers, automation and navigation/ communication electronics. These vessels are capable of a maximum speed of 14 knots with a cruising speed of 12 knots.
All five vessels under contract are Marshall Islands Flag, IMO/SOLAS, ABS Classed A1, Offshore Support Vessel Ocean Service, Loadline, AMS, ACCU, Circle E, with additional ABS Class notations UWILD, ENVIRO, DPS-2. Starting with the BRAVANTE VI and including the remaining three vessels will feature the added Class notation ABS FFV-1. STX Canada Marine provided the design.
Wärtsilä won the contract to supply the design and an integrated solution for a new large platform supply vessel (PSV). The ship will operate primarily on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is owned by Siem Offshore, the Norway based provider of marine services to the oil and gas industry. It will be operated under charter by A/S Norske Shell. The PSV is being built at the Remontowa Shipbuilding’s yard in Poland. The contract’s scope of supply includes the Wärtsilä VS 4411 LNG PSV initial, basic, and detailed ship design, as well as the complete diesel electric system with Wärtsilä dual-fuel generating sets, the Wärtsilä LNGPac gas storage and handling system, and the complete electrical and automation system, including a four-split Wärtsilä LLC (Low Loss Concept) solution. The Wärtsilä LLC will help the vessel fulfil the highest possible Environmental Regularity Number (ERN) of, which represents the vessel’s capability for maintaining its position and normal operations under certain weather conditions. The 89.2 m long vessel is scheduled to commence operations in 2015 and will be used to support offshore drilling and production activities in the North Sea. It can accommodate a crew of 25.
GE Power Conversion was tapped to equip four state-of-the-art Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) being built by Detroit Brasil Ltda. The 90-m, 4,500-dwt capacity PSVs will be able to stay stationary situated only a few meters from an oil and gas platform, as it transfers fluids, equipment and personnel in challenging weather conditions, largely courtesy of GE Power Conversion’s dynamic positioning and vessel automation technologies. The Brazilian Shipyard Detroit Brasil Ltda. is building the next generation of PSVs for Brazilian operator Starnav Serviços Marítimos Ltda, and the ships will operate under a long-term arrangement with Petrobras.
GE’s newest advancements in DPS and vessel automation will enable the ships to perform such operations with stability, safety and precision and will substantially contribute to the ships’ overall efficiency and operational effectiveness.
“We insist on having the very best in terms of performance,” said Carlos Eduardo Pereira, general director at Starnav Serviços Marítimos Ltda.
“Second best is just not good enough for the kinds of environments they operate in. Offering a total solution means you understand the world of the mariner with innovation and technology that makes their life easier, this is where GE Power Conversion excels and why we are proud to be able to have them as a partner.”
ROC Shipyard in China was tapped to build two (with two options) platform supply vessels (PSV) based on the  Ulstein PX121 designs for the ITG Group. Ulstein maintains that the PX121 has become popular among shipowners and investment companies, and ROC is a new yard entering the stage of constructing vessels carrying the X-BOW hull line design from Ulstein. This signature inverted bow is designed for reduced speed loss in waves, and consequently less fuel oil consumption, as well as the absence of slamming.  The ships measure 83.4 x 18 m and are designed to meet the requirements of DNV’s Clean Design notation. They have a load capacity of approximately 4,000 tons and a cargo deck of 840 sq. m. Maximum speed is stipulated to 14.5 knots.  This version of the medium-sized PX121 platform accommodates a 30, and the vessels will be prepared for an ROV mezzanine deck and a subsea crane for future installation. The vessels are planned for delivery in the first half of 2015.
Island Crown is the latest vessel of the UT 776 CD design from Rolls-Royce for Island Offshore. The design brief was for a vessel that will usually spend its time connected to an offshore platform, acting as a hotel for people working on the platform. Island Crown can also carry out a separate set of functions – subsea construction and ROV operation – and is equipped to transport all the liquid and bulk supplies needed by rigs and platforms.
This is the latest and longest (99.8m) version of the UT 776 CD. Also specified were other Rolls-Royce ship systems similar to these on other Island Offshore vessels, such as a four-generator set diesel electric propulsion system, Azipull main thrusters and twin tunnel thrusters with a swing up azimuth thruster at the bow, cumulatively giving a high level of redundancy to meet DP2 class Dynamic Positioning System. Vard Brevik shipyard was chosen to build the vessel
The vessel will provide accommodation for a marine crew of about 40. The hotel block is placed aft of the main superstructure, with a hospital and services at main deck level and two decks of two-person cabins, day and meeting rooms above.
Platform workers living on the ship have to transfer between ship and platform at the change of shift, and they do this via a transfer gangway positioned at the port aft corner of the deck. Island Crown is flexible enough to link to many different types of platform, with a variety of heights above water level of the platform entry port. To cater for these variations, and also the relative motion between vessel and platform in a seaway, the access system is made up of two main components: one is a telescopic tower and staircase which takes care of the initial height differences; the other is the gangway itself, linking the top of the tower and the docking point at the entry port. The gangway is hydraulically positioned but free to pivot, allowing for relative motion. Its length can also be varied. Normally, the vessel will maintain a fixed distance from the platform under DP, at a heading that as far as possible minimizes the energy required by the thrusters to keep station. Uptime supplied the gangway and Ulmatec provided the telescopic tower.
Topaz Energy and Marine won multi-year charters in the Russian Filanovsky project for nine of its offshore support vessels (OSVs) amounting to approximately $20m. The vessels have been deployed to offshore contractor Saipem and will support the development of the Filanovsky oil and gas field in the Northern Caspian Sea. The vessels will provide anchor-handling and tug services as well as transport of supplies and personnel. The total proven reserves of the Filanovsky field are estimated to be around 1.3 billion barrels.
“The developing Russian sector offers a great deal of exciting new prospects for Topaz which is already well-established in the Caspian,” said Roy Donaldson, COO, Topaz Energy and Marine. “Our fleet is young, diverse, well-equipped, and can stand up to the challenge of working in harsh climates and arduous environmental conditions like in the Northern Caspian. We also enjoy a good working relationship with Saipem having worked with them for several years in their projects in Kazakhstan. Following Saipem into this new market is a natural transition for Topaz and we now have significant operations in the four corners of the Caspian Sea.” Topaz has been operating in the Caspian Sea since the acquisition of BUE Caspian in 2005 and currently has more than 60 offshore support vessels in the region. The company has also seen the recent mobilization of the new build anchor-handling tug supply vessels Topaz Dignity and Topaz Triumph. Jaya Holdings Limited report that its new PSV Jaya Valour was delivered on schedule, and that on delivery it went on-hire immediately, embarking on its maiden voyage as part of a long term charter contract in South East Asia with an existing customer undertaking fracturing work. Jaya Valour is one of the four PSVs in Jaya’s new build program, of which three have already secured contracts for charter. The total value of these three contracts is more than $60m, including optional extension periods. The new vessel has more than 1,000 sq. m. of clear deck space, fire fighting capability and dynamic positioning to DP-2 class and has accommodation for up to 60 people on board including workout equipment and an internet café. Jaya Valour has the capacity to carry up to 5,500 tons of cargo deadweight and her versatile cargo capacities have been upgraded to be able to load, process and deliver specialized fracturing components to stimulate production from offshore oil and gas wells.

(As published in the September 2013 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News -

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