Energy logistics provider, AET, has taken delivery of two Suezmax shuttle tankers, purpose-built for long-term charter to Petrobras. Tanker Shipping & Trade takes a tour around the lead vessel, Eagle Petrolina
Eagle Petrolina was built at Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) in South Korea, where two sister vessels are currently under construction and due to be delivered later this year. The second vessel Eagle Paulinia was delivered to AET in July 2020.
All four 153,000 dwt vessels have been built to charterer Petrobras’ technical requirements for dynamic positioning 2 (DP2) shuttle tankers in a collaboration with the shipyard SHI, class society DNV GL and AET shipmanagement arm Eaglestar. The vessels will comply with IMO NOx Tier 3 and SOx emission requirements and each vessel is equipped with electric-driven cargo pumps for enhanced fuel efficiency and high-power thrusters.
AET president and chief executive Captain Rajalingam Subramanian said: “For AET, seeing the agreement we reached with Petrobras two years ago now coming into operation is another important step in growing our specialist dynamic positioning activities in the Brazilian Basin and our partnership with Petrobras. Eagle Petrolina further demonstrates our continued commitment to high-quality, safe and eco responsible operations. As a second-generation dynamic position shuttle tanker (DPST), it is more environmentally friendly than current DPST assets operating in the Brazilian Basin.”
The Singapore-headquartered company is developing niche vessels in several areas of the oil and gas sector and crude oil and oil product transportation. AET’s global director, business development and joint venture management Peter Liew said: “Our fleet of more than 80 petroleum and product tankers moves petroleum, refined products, and chemicals worldwide to meet the world’s evolving energy needs. Alongside the provision of conventional energy shipping services, we are market leaders in the operation of specialist lightering services in the US Gulf and Latin America and are the only owner and operator of specialised Modular Capture Vessels (MCV) for marine well containment with DP capability. We have a growing presence in the niche market of DPST, and regard this as a key growth area for our business.”
He continued: “As a responsible tanker owner and operator, we continue to innovate and pioneer new technologies and invest as part of our fleet rejuvenation strategy into green vessels to ensure we achieve or exceed IMO’s 2030 greenhouse gases strategy obligations. We have set our own internal goals to reach the IMO 2030 shipping decarbonisation targets much earlier, by 2025. As highly eco-efficient vessels, Eagle Petrolina, and her sister vessels on long-term charters with Petrobras, will contribute to our efforts to deliver on this ambition and are welcome additions to our fleet.”
AET has more than 200 onshore personnel across nine international locations and over 3,000 dedicated and specialised seafarers in its shipmanagement arm, Eaglestar. The company has its own strict code of business ethics and maintains the highest standards of quality, health, safety, security, and the environment (QHSSE).
AET sees the introduction of the latest DPST as part of the role that it plays in meeting the world’s need for energy now and in the future. Not only is AET committed to providing consistently better energy-related maritime solutions and services toward the transition to a more sustainable energy future, the DPST represents a commitment to a safe and secure working environment. The company’s investment in high quality assets and infrastructure and building sustainability into every aspect of the business and operations is to ensure its position as a market leader in the field.
With Eagle Petrolina and Eagle Paulinia in the fleet, AET has eight DPSTs in operation, including two of the world’s first LNG dual-fuel DPSTs with Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) recovery systems, which are both on long-term charter with Equinor. AET has a further nine DPSTs on order for delivery between now and 2022, making AET’s DPST fleet one of the largest and most modern in the market. DPSTs operate in the Brazilian Basin or Norwegian Continental Shelf of the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, and the southern Barents Sea, as well as on the UK Continental Shelf.
All the vessels are secured against long-term charters. Mr Liew said: “As an energy logistics provider, we see the expansion of our expertise and capabilities in the DPST segment as a critical component of our sustainability strategy. We are investing significant resource in the training of specialised crew and personnel onshore to support DPST operations. We know that we are well-equipped to further build upon our presence in the DPST segment, and we have proven that we can transfer our expertise between regions, so we can go wherever our customers may need our DPST capabilities in future.”
“The core of Eagle Petrolina is the ability to maintain position while offloading cargo from an FPSO”
The Petrobras partnership extends back to 2010, when AET entered into a partnership with Petrobras to own and operate two DPSTs. This was in addition to providing conventional shipping services as well as conducting highly specialised ship-to-ship transfers (lightering) for other clients using offshore production facilities in the Brazilian Basin. The DPSTs operating in Brazil are crewed by mixed teams of Brazilian and international seafarers. AET insists on training to high standards and the sea teams are supported by dedicated teams onshore, stationed in the office in Rio de Janeiro.
The Eagle Petrolina contract was signed in May 2019, comprising for four newbuild Suezmax DP2 shuttle tankers secured on long-term charters for operations in the Brazilian Basin. Eagle Petrolina was delivered to AET on 22 May 2020 and then delivered to Petrobras in Singapore on 14 June 2020. Eagle Petrolina will be joining the two vessels AET already operating in the Brazilian Basin for Petrobras.
Eagle Petrolina was built at SHI in South Korea, where two sisters ships are currently under construction. Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, extra health and safety precautions were taken by the AET and Eaglestar site teams, which worked closely with the SHI team to safeguard the ongoing construction and delivery.
Eagle Petrolina is the focus of a joint development project between DNV GL and SHI aimed at developing a ‘Half Crew Ready Smart Ship’; it is the first DPST vessel to have received DNV GL’s SmartShip notation. To qualify for DNV GL’s SmartShip descriptive notation, a vessel must be equipped with technological features considered as smart technologies in marine applications, in accordance with the DNV GL Class Guidelines for SmartShip CG-0508.
Eagle Petrolina received the notation for its navigation decision support system with route optimisation features, an energy efficiency management system with trim optimisation, as well as a ship performance monitoring system. The 279 m-long shuttle tanker is also installed with SVESSEL, SHI’s own solution to meet the SmartShip standard, which enables monitoring, planning, reporting, and managing of information data of the vessel from onshore.
The core of Eagle Petrolina is the ability to maintain position while offloading cargo from a floating production storage and offloading unit (FPSO), and to withstand the challenging environmental conditions in the Brazilian waters, where wave heights can reach 5 m and wind speeds up to 25.7 m/s. Five Brunvoll thrusters are installed on the vessel, with three bow thrusters of 3.1 MW capacity each (one tunnel thruster and two Azimuth thrusters), and two stern thrusters of 2.2 MW capacity each (one tunnel thruster and one Azimuth thruster). The vessel features a main engine-driven controllable pitch propeller (CPP) and high-lift rudder, which is able to move up to 65° port and starboard sides. The DP system has four redundancy groups of thrusters so, if there is a single failure, the remaining thrusters can produce sufficient transverse and longitudinal thrust, and a yawing moment, to maintain the vessel’s position and heading.
Eagle Petrolina is equipped with a WinGD 5X72 main engine with an LP SCR fitted to the main engine and auxiliary engines to fully comply with IMO NOx Tier 3 requirements. All machinery equipment can run on low-sulphur fuel oil to meet IMO 2020 0.5% sulphur (SOx) emissions requirements.
There are four large generators with a total capacity up to 15.4 MW. Four high voltage (6.6 KV) switchboards are split in accordance with the DP redundancy configuration, with each high voltage switchboard equipped with one generator.
The DP control system consists of Kongsberg K-POS DP 22, which provides dual redundant control of the thrusters. The DP system is equipped with the following position reference system: DARPS 232 – absolute and relative (two sets); Spot track – relative; and Artemis – relative.
The DP control system also has the following DP sensors: three gyro compasses; three MRUs; and three wind sensors.
On deck, two hose-handling cranes are fitted on board with 11 m outreach, certified for personnel transfer for ship-to-ship operations. Two provision cranes are installed, one of eight tonnes SWL and one of two tonnes SWL; a dedicated BLS service crane is also installed.
The cargo-handling system consists of three cargo pumps, each with capacity of 3,800 m3/hour. The cargo pumps are electric-motor driven to make use of the large capacity power plant required for the thrusters and optimise the auxiliary boilers which will reduce the capex. The electric cargo pump also provides better efficiency.
“Eagle Petrolina is more environmentally friendly than current DPST assets operating in the Brazilian Basin”
A MacGregor bow loading system (BLS) is installed to handle the crude oil transfer hose from an offshore loading terminal. The BLS is capable of handling axial loads up to 100 tonnes in the incoming hose; to cover the different loading system, the BLS coupler can rotate 35° in each direction without limitation around the ship’s horizontal axis, and 60° outwards and 40° downwards from the ship’s vertical axis. The BLS hose handling winch pulling capacity has been increased to 500 kN to meet operational requirements in the Brazilian waters.
The BLS has the Green Line system to ensure the cargo system is lined up, a minimum two cargo tank valves are open, and the BLS system is properly setup before and during the hose connection, including the chain stopper, loading hose, coupler claws, hose tension, inboard valve and coupler valve. Without the Green Line established, loading is not permitted.
In case of emergency, automatic shutdown will be activated to trip the oil export pump from the terminal and close the BLS coupler valve and inboard valve (ESD 1), or disconnect the loading hose (ESD 2).
This high-level DP and cargo-handling system would be redundant without highly trained seafarers capable of handling the equipment. AET states that training is a key requirement for seafarers and its shipmanagement arm collaborates with the following training partners to provide simulator-based training for sea staff: Kongsberg for DP simulators; McGregor for simulators on BLS; and WinGD and Man B&W for engine simulators.
To ensure the safety of personnel at sea in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, AET has established a pandemic response team chaired by AET president and chief executive officer, Captain Rajalingam Subramaniam. At sea, safety measures include limiting ship-shore interfaces and managing crew changes to the confines of local government control measures and health.
On the bridge, the vessel is equipped with an integrated navigation system, including two sets of ECDIS and conning display. The vessel also features an enhanced UHF communication system with fixed base stations and repeater, antenna network to ensure full coverage and effective communication onboard.
Eagle Petrolina: thruster and main engine specification: