The ethos behind H&C Marine Engineering’s OML Intervention 1 is that a tailored, integrated approach to design and construction from the earliest stages can result in a vessel that is delivered on time and on budget
The vessel was designed by Evolution Concepts, an alliance of six companies – Sindex Refrigeration, Marine Commerce, Blue Connect, InStudio, Synergy Partners and Gennal – united under the aim of producing “fit-for-purpose” vessels while achieving economies of scale and simplifying the build process for owners.
Evolution Concepts rejects what it sees as a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to vessels, where standard template designs are used to build a range of craft. It’s focus is on ensuring a vessel’s features are exactly suited to a user’s requirements and are scalable for future needs.
Explaining the concept, Evolution Concepts group director Tan Wee How said: “Many vessels are built based on a standard model design. There is what we call a ‘standard template design’: they use the hullform and usually the yard is the one that engages the designer to build the vessel.
“We are coming from the user perspective, that is to say, if we work with the owner at the design stage, we can actually come up with a specification that is what the end user would want to have in the field.”
The designers worked closely with Caterpillar on the vessel’s electrical power generation to address and harmonise the optimum usage of power on board, resulting in flexible power usage without requiring large generators that consume lots of fuel.
"If we work with the owner at the design stage, we can come up with a specification that is what the end user would want to have in the field"
They also cooperated with MacGregor on OML Intervention 1’s deck equipment to provide cost-effective and fatigue-reducing solutions for equipment operation. An example of this is the remote-control system for the auxiliary crane, which allows for operation from a safe distance while giving the operator good visibility of the cargo being lifted.
Free deck space was also important for the vessel’s owner, to allow stores and equipment to be placed on the main deck. Evolution Concepts removed all external exhaust and ventilation trunking from the main deck to meet this requirement. The engineroom was air-conditioned to allow crew to work in comfort.
And crew comfort is a priority in other areas of the vessel’s design. Evolution Concepts states that a crew who feel more comfortable and less homesick will want to stay with the vessel, aiding retention.
Mr Tan compared the vessel’s mess to a Starbucks-style café, saying: “Most of the messes when you work onboard a vessel look like a school canteen, with long tables and long benches. It is just for people to eat, finish their food and get out. But you want people to feel relaxed, so we have created an atmosphere where you can do that.”
The cabins have also been designed to be more spacious than those found on similar vessels, with headroom of about 2.2 m and space for super-single sized beds to be installed, even in twin shared cabins. The vessel can accommodate 250 people.
“We make the vessel fit for purpose, not just for the boat itself, but fit for purpose to become a second home to the crew,” Mr Tan said.
The keel for the vessel, the first of its type to be built at Jiangsu Dajin Heavy Industrial Shipyard, was laid by the yard in late 2015. Mr Tan said Evolution Concepts assisted the yard with integration during the construction, having already carried out 3D modelling during the design phase, which resulted in the yard completing construction on time and on budget.
OML Intervention 1 measures 68 m in length, 40 m in width and has a hull depth of 7 m. It has an electro-hydraulic rack and pinion jacking system, with 12 pinions per leg. It also has a dynamic positioning class of DP2.
After leaving China in March and arriving in the Middle East in late April, OML Intervention 1 is currently contracted to Adnoc in Abu Dhabi for a five-year period.
Evolution Concepts has signed two five-year maintenance packages for the vessel, for the MacGregor crane and for the HVAC systems. Maintenance will be carried out twice a year. Sister vessel Intervention 2 is currently undergoing sea trials, with third and fourth vessels also in the pipeline.