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The design benefits of the 'fit-for-purpose' ethos

Mon 11 Jun 2018 by Ed Martin

The design benefits of the 'fit-for-purpose' ethos
Intervention 1 departed China in March and started its first job – a five-year contract with Abu Dhabi’s Adnoc - in May

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

Following the delivery of OML Intervention 1, an accommodation and support vessel operated by Overseas Marine Logistics, the project's designer Evolution Concepts explained to Offshore Support Journal how its “fit-for-purpose” ethos helped it streamline development and achieve efficiencies.

Evolution Concepts is an alliance of five 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.

Elaborating on 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 hull form 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.

“Alternatively, Evolution Concepts can work with shipbuilders who want to build a platform with which they could differentiate from the yards that build ‘cookie-cutter’ vessels.”

Mr Tan compared these ‘cookie cutter’ vessels to a Smart TV, whereby the design may have many possible functionalities but the user may only use a few of these. Evolution Concepts' philosophy is to ensure a vessel’s features are suited to the user’s requirements and are scalable for future needs.

For example, Evolution Concepts worked with Caterpillar on OML Intervention 1’s electrical power generation to “address and harmonise the optimum usage of power on board” Mr Tan said, resulting in power usage flexibility without requiring large generators that consume more fuel.

The company worked with MacGregor on the vessel’s deck equipment, to provide “cost-effective and fatigue-reducing solutions” for equipment operation. Mr Tan cited the example of a remote control system for the auxiliary crane, which can be operated from a safe distance while giving the operator good visibility of the cargo being lifted.

He said “Free deck space is always something the owner looks out for, to put stores and equipment on the main deck. The first thing is we took away all the external exhaust and ventilation trunking on the main deck. That freed up a lot of space for storing more things."

Mr Tan added “You might ask – where did all the main deck ventilation and exhaust vents go? We actually air-condition the engine control room, so the crew can work in comfort there. With this, retention of the crew will improve and you have more free space on the main deck.”

Mr Tan said air conditioning was integrated with the vessel’s interior design in such a way as to prevent it being visually noticeable when entering a room.

“It is like a second home to the offshore crew that go inside. The crew are less homesick and it is more likely they will come back to the same vessel to work,” he said.

Using the example of the vessel’s mess, which he compared to a Starbucks-style café, he said: “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.

“We make the vessel fit for purpose not just for the boat itself, but fit for purpose also to become a second home to the crew,” Mr Tan said.

The keel for the vessel, which was the first of its type to be built there, was laid at Jiangsu Dajin Heavy Industrial Shipyard 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.

After leaving China in March and arriving in the Middle East in late April, Intervention 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.

OOS International takes second heavy lift vessel order

Work has begun on OOS Walcheren, a heavy lift vessel ordered by Netherlands-based offshore accommodation and construction firm OOS International, from China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu).

OOS Walcheren, due for delivery in the first quarter of 2020, is the second semi-submersible crane vessel (SSCV) that OOS International has ordered from the Chinese shipbuilders, with sister ship OOS Serooskerke under construction at China Merchants’ Haimen yard, set for delivery in 2019.

The SSCVs are multipurpose and can be used for decommissioning work, windmill installation, offshore accommodation and modular plug and abandonment duties.

They are identical, measuring 137.75 m in length by 71 m in breadth, with clear deck space of 3,800 m2 and a deck load of 15 tonne/ m2

Each vessel can accommodate up to 750 people in one-, two- and four-berth cabins and is built in accordance with UK HSE legislation and ABS’ habitability requirements.

Lifting power comes from two active compensation-capable Huisman heavy-lift cranes per vessel, with total tandem lift capacity of 4,400 tonnes, capable of subsea work down to 3,300 m.

The SSCVs have a maximum speed of 11 knots and mount eight four-stroke 4.0 MW STX 8L32/40 apiece and six 3.8 MW Thrustmaster fixed-pitch azimuth thrusters apiece, with a dynamic positioning rating of DPS3.

Kleven Verft delivers fourth Project Starfish AHTS 

Norwegian yard Kleven Verft announced on 31 May the delivery of anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) Maersk Minder to Maersk.

The AHTS is the fourth of sixth Salt Ship Design SALT200 vessels the yard has been contracted for under Maersk’s “Project Starfish”, which aims to provide vessels capable of deepwater anchor handling and oilfield operations, with an emphasis on reliability, safety and minimised environmental footprint.

Maersk Master, the first Project Starfish AHTS to be delivered, was awarded Vessel of the Year at OSJ’s Annual Offshore Support Journal Awards 2018.

The Project Starfish vessels are 95 m long with a 25 m beam and are built for deepwater operations. They have an ice class of 1A FS, a dynamic positioning rating of DP2 and carry DNV GL’s Clean Design notation.

Each vessel has a bollard pull of 230 tonnes from five medium-speed engines with a total output of more than 23,000 bhp. As well as two controllable-pitch main propellers, each AHTS has three 1,580 bhp bow tunnel thrusters and two 1,580 bhp stern tunnel thrusters.

Maersk Minder will join Maersk Mariner, Maersk Mover and the aforementioned Maersk Master in service, with the fifth Project Starfish vessel due for delivery later this year and the sixth also under construction.

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