A look at the most innovative vessels to have joined the global OSV fleet this year
Flying business class on the water
Executive class crewboat is all about comfort, giving helicopters a run for their money
Those accustomed to flying in business class will appreciate Singapore-based Penguin International’s new Flex-42X executive fast crewboat Alkahfi Chief.
Penguin’s introduction of the Flex-42X comes at a time when crewboats are increasingly replacing helicopters in the offshore oil and gas sector as a primary mode of transport. “Although crewboats are slower than helicopters, they are much more economical to charter, and a mid-sized crewboat is able to transport significantly more personnel and cargo than an offshore helicopter,” say researchers at Lim & Tan Securities.
“The Flex-42X is a sensible alternative to helicopters,” Penguin International managing director James Tham tells Offshore Support Journal. He cites the vessel’s versatility, speed, cargo capacity and comfort as its biggest allure.
Alkahfi Chief is equipped with Humphree active ride control, FuelTrax EFMS fuel monitoring and an Uptime walk-to-work gangway.
With a tagline “Speed and Comfort Reimagined,” Flex-42X was jointly developed by Penguin and its design partner, UK-based naval architect and marine engineering firm BMT. Drawing on its own experience as an owner-operator of mid-sized crewboats, Penguin developed a modern crewboat that could reach speeds of close to 30 knots while offering passengers a comfortable and quiet ride, and at the same time functioning efficiently as a multi-role crewboat with ample cargo capacity and external fire-fighting, search-and-rescue and medivac capabilities.
Alkahfi Chief is equipped with three 1,450-hp Cat C32 Acert main engines that drive three fixed-pitch Nibral, five-blade propellers and has an overall length of 42 m, beam of 8 m and draught of 1.6 m, with seating for 80.
“We intentionally maximised the passenger deck area to optimise seating positions, while minimising the size of the wheelhouse to reduce weight and drag,” explains Mr Tham.
“This enabled us to configure the passenger saloon with two-by-two business class seats with a seat pitch of over 1,000 mm. No other mid-sized crewboat in the world has such as feature,” he says.
MPSV enhances subsea construction support capabilities
US-based Oceaneering International has added a new multi-purpose support vessel (MPSV) to its eight-vessel fleet.
Based on a Marin Teknikk MT 6022 design, MPSV Ocean Evolution is capable of well stimulation and light well intervention work or inspection, maintenance and repair work. It features a NOV 250-tonne active heave compensated (AHC) crane, two work-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) with AHC launch systems, survey systems and subsea tooling for work in up to 4,000 m of water. The vessel’s ROV systems are installed in a custom indoor hanger to allow for port and starboard launch.
Its mast crane has a special lifting mode that allows heavy lifts with alternate reeving of the boom that provides increased hook heights of 36 m above the main deck. As a result, Ocean Evolution’s crew can lift tall wellheads, large pin piles, and other large equipment off the deck utilising the maximum lifting capacity of the crane.
With accommodation for 110, a length of 107.6 m and beam of 22 m, Ocean Evolution was the last vessel built by BAE Systems at its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. The shipyard was subsequently sold by BAE Systems to the Houston-based Epic Companies.
For enhanced safety, the bridge of Ocean Evolution has port and starboard redundant control stations, providing bridge officers and DPOs a better view of crane operations, ROV deployment and simultaneous operations with other vessels and platforms on each side of the vessel.
Ocean Evolution has five EPA Tier 4 and IMO Tier III-compliant GE 12V250MDC main diesel engines with a combined generating capacity of 15,950 kW on a three-bus system to provide excess power capacity and redundancy. Most notably, the GE engines avoid the need for exhaust after-treatment to comply with emissions regulations by using exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology.
Special IMR vessel first of its type built in US
Privately held US owner Otto Candies has added a sophisticated IMR vessel for subsea support
Otto Candies LLC is a Louisiana-based OSV owner whose roots stretch back to the earliest days of the offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico. Today, its fleet includes inspection maintenance and repair (IMR) vessels, dive support vessels, special purpose vessels and crew boats.
In 2012, when Brent crude oil was trading at historically high levels of about US$111 per barrel, Otto Candies contracted Norway’s Marin Teknikk AS to design and engineer a new subsea support and construction vessel for operation in the US Gulf of Mexico.
While Marin Teknikk had several of its vessel designs operating in the Gulf of Mexico, the contract with Otto Candies represented the first vessel that would be built in the US. Construction of the vessel was to be handled by Otto Candies’ own shipyard, Candies Shipbuilders in Houma, Louisiana.
Marin Teknikk developed a new design for the project; the MT6020 was a refinement of its highly successful MT6016 series. OSV owners Fugro, Subsea 7, Rem Offshore and Toisa have all deployed vessels worldwide based on the MT6016 design.
Delivered by Candies Shipbuilders, Paul Candies is a US-flag, IMR vessel, built to support subsea installations and light construction. With a length overall of 101.25 m and beam of 20.6 m, Paul Candies is equipped with a Huisman active heave compensation crane that has a safe working load capacity of 250 tonnes at a 12.5-m radius. Two ROVs can be operated from a control room adjacent to the vessel’s ROV deck.
Equipped with a moonpool and helipad, the vessel has 32 single-person and 29 double-person cabins, office and conference rooms, cinema, gymnasium and hospital.
Named for the late Paul Candies, Sr, long-time president of Otto Candies, the IMR vessel is equipped with three different propulsion systems supplied by Germany’s Schottel GmbH that provide excellent manoeuvrability for dynamic positioning and station-keeping operations, according to the company.
Crane vessel ‘lifts’ decom and offshore wind capabilities
Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) has invested US$1Bn in the world’s largest semi-submersible crane vessel
With an overall length of 220 m, beam of 102 m, variable operating draught between 12 and 32 m and depth of 49.5 m, Sleipner is the fourth heavy-lift vessel in HMC’s fleet, following Aegir, Thialf and Balder. The submersible crane vessel (SSCV) features two 10,000-tonne-capacity revolving Huisman cranes that allow Sleipner to make lifts of 20,000 tonnes in tandem.
Unlike traditional tub cranes which make use of either bogies or large wheels for their slew system, the Huisman cranes use large 30-m diameter slew bearings manufactured in-house. Huisman says that one of the benefits of using bearings is that it allows for substantial weight savings for the crane.
Fittingly, Sleipner is named for Odin’s powerful, eight-legged stallion of Norse mythology. The vessel has a deck load capacity of 20,000 metric tonnes, with a main deck working area of 12,000m², offering a load capacity of 10 metric tonnes/m².
Sleipner is also the first dual-fuel crane vessel, with 12 four-stroke MAN 8L51/60DF engines that can burn low-sulphur marine gas oil or LNG, providing operational flexibility. When not burning LNG as a fuel, the ship’s IMO Tier III-compliant engines are fitted with selective catalytic converter (SCR) technology to ensure operations in the strictest emissions control areas. The main engines each produce 8 MW of power. The vessel can carry about 8,000 m3 of LNG in an IMO Type-C LNG fuel tank.
Built by Sembcorp Marine, Sleipnir can accommodate 400 persons in single and double cabins and will be deployed globally for installing and removing jackets, topsides, deepwater foundations, moorings and other offshore structures.
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