Orange has strengthened its commitment to its submarine cable business – and to the offshore wind sector – with a newbuild cable repair vessel for its subsidiary Orange Marine
Orange Marine said the vessel, which will have a focus on operational efficiency and a reduced environmental footprint, will be designed for the maintenance of submarine cables, including fibre optic telecommunication cables, and inter-array power cables used in offshore windfarms.
The new vessel will replace the cable ship Raymond Croze, which was launched in 1983 and has carried out more than one hundred cable repairs, mostly in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Red Sea.
The new vessel will have a streamlined hull designed to reduce fuel consumption, and will be optimised for cable repairs. It will have Azipod thrusters for a high level of manoeuvrability and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to inspect, cut, repair and bury cables. The ROV will be housed in a dedicated hangar.
The vessel will have an environmentally friendly hybrid energy management system with batteries and can be powered from the shore when in port to reduce emissions.
Construction of the vessel has been entrusted to Colombo Dockyard, assisted by Vard in Norway, the vessel designer. The launch of the ship is scheduled for the first half of 2023.
Orange Marine chief executive Didier Dillard said, “The decision to build this vessel is very good news for Orange Marine, its employees and its customers. We will have a new, high-performance tool, with a low environmental footprint, which will allow us to offer high-quality services for several decades to our customers, not only owners of submarine telecommunications cables but also operators of offshore windfarms.”
Orange executive vice president Jean-Luc Vuillemin said, “Our decision to build this vessel demonstrates Orange’s belief in the future of the submarine cable market. Repair vessels are of strategic importance in maintaining global internet connectivity.”