McDermott International’s pipelay and construction vessel Amazon has arrived at Dutch shipyard Royal IHC for conversion to an ultra-deepwater J-lay vessel
Operated by McDermott under a long-term bareboat charter that started in 2017, the DP2-class vessel is equipped with two 400-tonne offshore cranes and accommodation for 200 people.
Under the conversion, the Dutch shipyard will remove the existing tower, replacing it with a dynamic hex joint J-lay system with 1,500 tonnes of dynamic top tension on the tower, enabling large subsea structures and hex sections of pipelines from 11 to 60 cm to be installed. It is rated to 3,500 m of water.
Other modifications will include an integrated multi-joint facility, where single joints will be welded to form hex joints. The 10,000 tonnes of existing cargo space on board will enhance mobility of the vessel and reduce reliance on shore bases for support. It will also have an automated pipe preparation area to improve efficiency and quality, with two parallel production lines.
This conversion will allow Amazon to “pursue major field development projects with rigid pipelay requirements at depths of nearly 3,500 m to address the anticipated growth in deepwater and ultra-deepwater spending", said McDermott president and chief executive David Dickson last year when the project was announced.
Netherlands-based Royal IHC will design and build the J-Lay system and will perform overall management of the modification project. The original equipment manufacturers will be used for all modifications to the ship’s systems, including an additional 5 MW of power and pipe handling cranes, under the management of Royal IHC.
Initial engineering began on the conversion in October 2017 and transitioned into full engineering design in January 2018.
Amazon’s conversion is expected to take 10 months, with redelivery to McDermott in mid-2020.