Damen Shipyards Group has launched the first of its latest design of fast crew supplier (FCS) vessels for the offshore energy industry
It developed the FCS 7011 design as a cost-effective crew transportation alternative for an offshore oil and gas industry struggling with low energy prices and limited budgets. Damen hailed this design as a quantum leap forward in marine access solutions.
This 70-m vessel, named Aqua Helix, was launched into the water using two cranes at Damen Shipyards Antalya, Turkey on 21 January 2021. Damen said this event was an important milestone in the development of this vessel and a significant step towards its completion.
It will outfit Aqua Helix and conduct sea trails off Antalya to demonstrate its capabilities later this year. After this, it will sail to the Netherlands where Ampelmann will install a gangway system. Damen then intends to perform proof-of-concept trials in the North Sea before making it available to offshore operators and vessel service providers in the region.
This FCS 7011 vessel has capacity to transport 122 people in a single voyage to offshore installations.
“This raises the prospect of a move away from dayrate contracting towards a pay-per-journey model,” said Damen, “and, potentially, vessel sharing to increase the efficiency of offshore operations.”
It has a Sea Axe bow to reduce slamming forces during transits. Its accommodation is located just aft of mid-ships to minimise pitching motions on passengers.
Damen has incorporated interceptors to the vessel’s aft to reduce both pitch and roll motions during voyages. For passenger comfort, Damen has integrated numerous motion-compensating technologies in this vessel design.
Aqua Helix will have Kongsberg’s dynamic positioning, Ampelmann gangway, VEEM gyrostabiliser, MTU main engines, Hamilton waterjets, Danfoss shaft generators and Veth bow thrusters. To ensure these operate together effectively, Damen tested them via scaled models and simulations. Its focus was on enhancing the interaction between each unit, creating a tightly integrated advanced control system.
Aqua Helix will also feature Damen Triton, a connected vessel platform for remote monitoring and preventive maintenance, which Damen expects to lower fuel consumption and emissions.
Meanwhile, Damen has delivered two FCS 2710 design vessels to Hung Hua Construction Co in Taiwan. Falcon 5 and Falcon 6 join two other Damen FCS 2710 vessels and an FCS 2610 in the company’s fleet.
New vessel concepts, alternative applications and offshore sector challenges will be discussed during Riviera’s Annual Offshore Support Journal virtual conference and exhibition on 23 March - use this link to view the programme and register for this event