Offshore support vessel owner Vroon has upgraded two of its platform supply vessels (PSVs) with improved dynamic positioning (DP) for future work in the North Sea
Vroon upgraded DP1 systems to DP2 on 2008-built PSVs Vos Base and Pool Express in Q4 2020. Both PSVs were built by Damen Shipyards and are working in Peterson’s pool in the Dutch sector supplying cargo to gas production platforms.
According to Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, Pool Express operates from Den Helder and Vos Base mainly from Harlingen and Texel in the Netherlands. Vos Base also supports offshore facilities in the German sector as it called at Emden in January, according to AIS.
The DP systems on these vessels were upgraded from September to November 2020 with new DP computers and automation systems, and modified electrical systems.
Vroon also renewed additional hardware and improved other equipment involved in keeping these PSVs in position during cargo loading and unloading operations offshore.
After these upgraded systems were commissioned, there was extensive failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) testing for full DP2 certification. Both vessels are classed by Lloyd’s Register and have diesel electric propulsion.
On each vessel, four main engines of 1,194 kW each drive Ulstein Aqua master propulsion, with two Kongsberg US 205FP azimuth thrusters and two bow tunnel thrusters of 650 kW each.
Meanwhile, Shanghai, China-based propulsion supplier Thrusterleader has selected DP control systems from Reygar for a second survey vessel. Reygar’s StemTide technology will be combined with Thrusterleader’s propulsors, comprising twin 600-kW azimuth thrusters and a single 200-kW bow thruster.
This will enable the survey vessel to be positioned fully automatically or by an operator using a joystick. This DP system can also be used for heading control.
Operating survey vessels using DP reduces unnecessary fuel use and wear and tear on the vessel’s propulsion equipment, while reducing strain on the crew as they keep the vessel in position, said Reygar managing director Chris Huxley-Reynard.
“Survey vessels carry out critical operations in support of multiple industries, from seabed mapping through to salvage and research operations,” he said. “Therefore it is essential the crew are able to carry out this work safely and to the best of their ability regardless of environmental conditions, while ensuring operations are as efficient and sustainable as possible.”
DP technology and testing will be discussed in depth during Riviera’s European Dynamic Positioning Conference virtual event on 24 March 2021 - use this link for more details and to register for this virtual conference