Family-owned Otto Candies has added a sophisticated IMR vessel to its fleet as the subsea market begins its slow recovery
Otto Candies LLC is a Louisiana-based OSV owner whose roots stretch back to the earliest days of the offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico. Today, its fleet includes inspection maintenance and repair (IMR) vessels, dive support vessels, special purpose vessels and crew boats.
But back in 1942, company founder Capt Otto B. Candies was contracted to provide small craft to clear water lilies from an access canal in support of an oil rig. The captain’s efforts were rewarded when he won a subsequent crew-transport contract with the Humble Oil and Refining Company, a predecessor to ExxonMobil.
More than 75 years later, Otto Candies is a fixture in the Gulf of Mexico, with a fleet of 42 US-flag, Jones Act-compliant and Mexican flag vessels.
In 2012, when Brent crude oil was trading at historically high levels of about US$111 per barrel, Otto Candies contracted Norway’s Marin Teknikk AS to design and engineer a new subsea support and construction vessel for operation in the US Gulf of Mexico.
While Marin Teknikk had several of its vessel designs operating in the Gulf of Mexico, the contract with Otto Candies represented the first vessel that would be built in the US. Construction of the vessel was to be handled by Otto Candies’ own shipyard, Candies Shipbuilders in Houma, Louisiana.
Marin Teknikk developed a new design for the project; the MT6020 was a refinement of its highly successful MT6016 series. OSV owners Fugro, Subsea 7, Rem Offshore and Toisa have all deployed vessels worldwide based on the MT6016 design.
Delivered by Candies Shipbuilders this past year, Paul Candies is a US-flag, IMR vessel, built to support subsea installations and light construction. With a length overall of 101.25 m and beam of 20.6 m, Paul Candies is equipped with a Huisman active heave compensation crane that has a safe working load capacity of 250 tonnes at a 12.5-m radius. Two remotely operated vehicles (ROV) can be operated from a control room adjacent to the vessel’s ROV deck.
Equipped with a moonpool and helipad, the vessel has 32 single-person and 29 double-person cabins, office and conference rooms, cinema, gymnasium and hospital.
Named for the late Paul Candies, Sr, long-time president of Otto Candies, the IMR vessel is outfitted with three different propulsion systems supplied by Germany’s Schottel GmbH. These provide it with excellent manoeuvrability for dynamic positioning and station-keeping operations.
“Back in 1942, company founder Capt Otto B. Candies was contracted to provide small craft to clear water lilies from an access canal in support of an oil rig”
For main propulsion power, four medium-speed Caterpillar 3516C diesel generator engines each produce 2,250 kW, as part of a Siemens Blue Drive Plus C low voltage, diesel-electric propulsion solution. The system incorporates the main generators, vessel automation, low-voltage switchboards, energy management system, electric drives, main propulsion and tunnel thruster motors. In combination with a power management system, electric drives increase the efficiency of the propulsion system and reduce fuel consumption. Fuel consumption at a transit speed of 12 knots is expected to be 12,110 litres per day.
Paul Candies is equipped with two azimuth thrusters, rated at 2,600 kW each. The twin-propeller thruster design eliminates the need for an upper gearbox, reducing mechanical losses, lowering noise and vibration levels and lessening maintenance requirements, says Schottel.
The vessel also has two fixed-pitch bow thrusters, each rated at 1,050 kW and one fixed-pitch retractable bow thruster to provide manoeuvrability and station-keeping in dynamic positioning operations.
With the subsea market recovering, the timing of the delivery of Paul Candies should make it a welcome addition to the Otto Candies fleet.