New vessels will feature dedicated resources to manage oil pollution response, firefighting and ship salvage operations
There has been a recent upsurge in the construction of multipurpose emergency response vessels, as energy companies and national governments have sought to boost their resources.
This has resulted in new contracts for shipyards to build vessels capable of responding to various incidents, emergencies and accidents, including oil pollution clearance.
Uzmar Shipyards has almost completed a large multipurpose oil spill response and offshore support vessel for Kuwait Oil Co (KOC).
It built Al Zour as a technically advanced oil spill recovery vessel to boost emergency response in the Middle East Gulf.
Al Zour has dynamic positioning (DP) with a DP (AM) notation from Lloyd’s Register and azimuth stern drive (ASD) propulsion.
It will be a significant addition to KOC’s offshore support fleet and will protect Kuwait’s maritime waters, production installations and ports. Al Zour can also tow offshore drilling rigs and support offshore construction work and tanker loading terminals.
Uzmar built this 60-m vessel to Robert Allan’s RAmpage 6000 design, in Kocaeli, Turkey. It is the largest Robert Allan-designed vessel ever to be built in Turkey. It was launched on 21 August and is scheduled to begin operations in Kuwait in Q1 2021.
KOC team leader for marine technical services Soud Al Otaibi said at the steel cutting ceremony in September 2019, this vessel would be “one of the most technically advanced oil spill recovery vessels of its type” when completed.
KOC expects it will be used for oil spill recovery, firefighting, rescue operations and logistics support.
Al Zour has an oil recovery tank with 750 m3 capacity and two skimmers that would be deployed by a telescopic crane at speeds of 250 m³/hr. One skimmer is for removing high-viscous oil and the other for oil with higher mobility.
This ship will also have two spray booms, each fitted with nozzles for dispersant application at a rate of 125 l/min.
Uzmar said Al Zour will have a bollard pull of 30 tonnes and speed of 13 knots, coming from two Yanmar main engines, each rated at 1,620 kW. Also in the engineroom are three Yanmar generator sets, each producing 750 ekW.
Its firefighting capabilities include a Lloyd’s Register-class FiFi1 pump and monitor system capable of delivering 2,400 m3/hr of water spray.
Not to be outdone, rival Turkish vessel builder Med Marine is constructing a powerful emergency response tug at its Ereğli Shipyard to support shipping, port operations and offshore activity in eastern Africa.
It is building a vessel to Robert Allan’s RAstar 4200 (MED-A42120) design for Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
This 42-m vessel is expected to have a bollard pull of more than 120 tonnes for emergency towage, offshore support and ship handling.
This comes from two Schottel-supplied Rudderpropellers, type SRP 710, and a hydraulically driven transverse thruster, type STT 170.
Its SRP 710 azimuth thrusters will be 3.4 m in diameter, with an input power of 3,700 kW and input speed of 1,000 rpm. The transverse thruster type STT 170 will have 250 kW input.
KPA is mandated to manage the Port of Mombasa and all scheduled seaports along Kenya’s coastline. Port of Mombasa is a major gateway to east and central Africa and has a central base for salvage and emergency towage in the Indian Ocean.
In Poland, Remontowa Shipbuilding is building a series of emergency support vessels for the Polish Navy. These are part of the B860 tug programme, initially for towing naval ships and logistics services in the Baltic Sea. They are also available for salvage and emergency support, pollution control and removing hazardous material along the Polish coast.
So far, Remontowa has completed four of six B860 tugs: Bolko and Gniewko entered service during Q1 2020, Mieszko started and Semko underwent sea trials in September; Tugs Leszko and Przemko were launched in Q3 2020 and are being outfitted in Q4 2020.
These tugs can operate in severe ice conditions accompanied by icebreakers. They have a bollard pull of around 35 tonnes, coming from a pair of Rolls-Royce MTU diesel engines driving two Schottel Rudderpropellers.
Remontowa also completed two multi-purpose vessels for Polish maritime administrations in Gdynia and Szczecin: Zodiac II and Planet I were built for various maritime and emergency response tasks, including oil pollution clearance.
These 60-m icebreaking vessels can perform hydrographic surveys, towage, sea rescue and firefighting.
Zodiac II was completed for the Gdynia maritime administration in September and Planet I was handed to the Szczecin maritime office in October 2020.
In the US, Edison Chouest Offshore started construction of two vessels with hybrid propulsion to support floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) operations and tanker loadings, with emergency response responsibilities.
It will build these 50-m vessels to support ExxonMobil’s growing business offshore Guyana, where the oil major has three deepwater FPSO-based projects. Liza Phase 1 was brought onstream in December 2019. ExxonMobil intends to deploy FPSOs for the phase two project at Liza and one on the Payara field.
Edison Chouest is building two support vessels to Damen’s ASD 5016 design with escort and FiFi1 class. These vessels will be equipped for oil spill recovery, hose-handling and maintenance duties. They will have 120 tonnes of static bollard pull, delivered by twin C-280 engines and azimuth thrusters installed on the stern.
To facilitate the hose maintenance, these vessels will have a 27-m aft deck with hose-flushing equipment and a full width sump.
Al Zour particulars
Owner: Kuwait Oil Co
Builder: Uzmar, Turkey
Designer: Robert Allan
Design: RAmpage 6000
Class: Lloyd’s Register
Length, oa: 60 m
Beam: 14 m
Bollard pull: 30 tonnes
Top speed: 13 knots
Main engines: 2 x Yanmar 1,620 kW
Gensets: 3 x Yanmar 750 ekW
Accommodation: 20 people
Vessels and tugs involved in Wakashio salvage
Offshore support vessel POSH Perseverance and Indian diving support vessel INS Nireekshak were involved in cleaning up oil pollution following the grounding of large bulk carrier Wakashio in Mauritius in July 2020. This incident caused a bunker oil spillage of around 800 tonnes.
Both vessels were also involved in the salvage of Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA) tug Sir Gaëtan Duval, which sank while towing an oil barge during the Wakashio emergency response.
POSH Perseverance was dispatched as an operating platform for salvors. It had pumping units and other salvage equipment on board.
INS Nireekshak’s diving support and dynamic positioning allowed videography of the tugboat wreck and damage assessments to be made.
Assisting Smit Salvage on the removal and towage of Wakashio’s bow were anchor-handling tugs Boka Expedition and Boka Summit. These tugs each have 205 tonnes of bollard pull.
Wakashio’s stern section remains on the reef, but will be removed by Chinese salvage specialist Lianyungang Dali Underwater Engineering during Q1 2021.