Making an entrance

Alan Thorpe

September 1, 2014

Alan Thorpe examines the latest pipelaying vessels debuting on the market.

 The Ceona Amazon leaving Cryst Shipyard in Poland. Photo from Ulstein.


Two new pipelayers for Ceona

The hull of London-based Ceona Shipping’s Ceona Amazon has now arrived in Bremerhaven, where it will be completed by Lloyd Werft (Bremerhaven) before sailing to Huisman’s Rotterdam facility for the installation of pipelaying equipment. The hull was built at the Gdansk Crist Shipyard in Gdynia, Poland.

With a design based on a drillship, the Ceona Amazon meets all the demands of a special purpose vessel with DP2 dynamic positioning capability. It will also be suitable for operation in remote and challenging regions, and can lay flexible as well as rigid pipes and supply lines.

The completed ship will be 199.4m (654ft) long and 32.2m (105.6ft) wide. It will draw 8.0m (26.25ft), be of 33,000grt and offer not only cabin accommodation for 200 crew and specialist personnel, but also considerable storage space below-deck for pipes and connecting components. This will guarantee the shipping company a wide area of operation for the ship, which will lay rigid and flexible piping in depths down to 3048m (10,000ft).

Pipelay will take place via moon pool and Ceona Amazon will have a DP2 satellite system installed to ensure exact positioning and navigation. The newbuild will boast a helipad on the bow, be fitted with seven thrusters at bow and stern and also have an operational ROV that will be able to supervise work taking place at great depths. Supplying pipes for gas and oil directly out of the hold, the Ceona Amazon will be a specialized floating factory capable of operation, for the main, independent of land support.

Two 400-ton capacity heavy cranes to port and a 30t knuckle boom crane located amidships on the 4600sq m (49,514sq ft) deck behind the superstructures help transport pipes into a special bending and laying system after they have been joined by robotic welding machines.

The pipelaying systems, which comprise a 275t vertical-lay system, will be installed after the vessel arrives at Huismen’s Schiedam facility in Rotterdam, prior entering service for Ceona.

Earlier this year Ceona took delivery of the 9000grt X-Bow diesel-electric propelled pipe-layer Polar Onyx. Take an in-depth look at the Polar Onyx on page 102 of the September issue of Offshore Engineer.

Work on the quayside at Huisman’s Schiedam facility. Photo from Alan Thorpe.

Huisman – supply of lay systems

Rotterdam’s Huisman, the worldwide specialist in lifting, drilling and subsea solutions, has recently delivered five pipelay systems out on the quayside of their production facility in Schiedam. This 66m high production hall offers the largest indoor lifting capacity in Europe (1200tonnes), allowing for the simultaneous indoor assembly, including testing and commissioning, of several products and systems. This allows for fast installation, commissioning and testing onboard.

Pipelay systems recently delivered by Huisman, Schiedam include an 800t Multi-lay System (MLS) for Ezra’s Lewek Constellation, a 275t vertical-lay system for Ceona’s Polar Onyx, a 150t vertical-lay System for (VARD) Ocean Installer’s Normand Vision and a portable 150t vertical-lay system for Technip. An additional 550t tiltable-lay system (TLS) for Subsea 7 has already been installed onboard the Seven Waves, which underwent the installation at Huisman’s quayside and departed for sea trials in February 2014. The 150t Ocean Installer VLS and the 150t Technip VLS were transported to other yards for installation– respectively Sovik in Norway and Le Trait in France. The 275t VLS for Ceona’s Polar Onyx and the 800t MLS for Ezra’s Lewek Constellation were both installed when the ships arrived in Rotterdam.

Royal IHC busy with pipelayers

During the past 12 months, Holland’s Royal IHC’s offshore division – formerly IHC Merwede – has been successful in securing orders worth over €1 billion for the design, engineering and construction of seven pipelaying vessels. The agreements have been signed with Subsea 7 (four vessels) and Seabras Sapura (three vessels), the partnership between SapuraKencana and Seadrill.

The Seven Waves from Royal IHC. Photo from Lloyd Werft.

The orders secured with Subsea 7 include two vessels already delivered – Seven Waves, during March this year, and Seven Seas. With an overall length of 146m (479ft), a beam of 30m (98.4ft) and a Class-2 dynamic positioning system, these vessels will be equipped for transporting and installing flexible flowlines and umbilicals in water depths of up to 3048m (10,000ft). Subsea 7 is delivering the pipelaying spreads for the three new vessels. The first in the series, Sapura Diamante, was delivered during late June this year.

Royal IHC then signed contracts with SapuraCrest for the design, engineering and construction of two new 550t pipelaying vessels and a third vessel, a 300t version, to be delivered to Brazil’s OSX Construção Naval S.A. All three ships will install flexible pipelines in Brazilian waters, pursuant to Petrobras’ contracts for the charter and operation of pipelaying support vessels, which were awarded to SapuraCrest.

These first two vessels are the first fully integrated offshore vessels completely designed, engineered and built by Royal IHC with a pipelay spread supplied by IHC Engineering Business. In addition, IHC Drives & Automation will deliver the integrated automation system, the full electrical installation and the complete electrical machinery package. Other IHC Merwede businesses, such as IHC Piping, are also delivering equipment.

The third vessel – with a top tension capacity of 300t – will also be designed and engineered by Royal IHC. The vessel will be – in accordance with Petrobras specs – built in Brazil, at the OSX yard in Açu, Rio de Janeiro. The pipelay spread will also be supplied by IHC Engineering Business.

The first ships in the two series were delivered earlier this year.

The Polar Onyx. Photo from Royal IHC.


Two new pipelay vessels for McDermott

The Lay Vessel 108 at Metalships in Spain. Photo from Metalships.

McDermott International has two pipelayers on order, both due for delivery this year. The first is the Lay Vessel 108, due for delivery this summer by Metalships and Docks S.A.U. shipyard in Vigo, Spain. It is a sistership to the LV105, which was delivered two years ago from the same yard.

LV108 is designed for advanced deepwater operations with a high-capacity tower for rigid and flexible pipelay and state-of-the-art marine construction equipment that will enable installation of a variety of products to 3048m (10,000ft) deep, including rigid-reeled pipelines, subsea components and hardware, and deepwater moorings for floating facilities as well as flexible products – cables and umbilicals.

The principal characteristics of the vessel, such as payload, tension capacity and product size, will mirror those of the LV105 – built by the same yard in 2012, but McDermott anticipates enhanced functionality of the LV108 equipment design compared to the LV105. Delivery is anticipated to be around 3Q 2014 for outfitting of the custom-designed lay system, built by a specialist fabricator in Europe.

The vertical reel will have a nominal payload of 2500t plus, subject to vessel loading conditions, and a lay tower operational between 90 º and 40 º. The nominal tension capacity is expected to be 400t, and the range of pipe the vessel can install is between 101.6mm-406.4mm (4-16in) diameter. This 130m (427ft), DP vessel will be equipped with a 400t heave compensated crane, will have a transit speed of 15 knots and will operate across a range of water depths up to more than 3048m (10,000ft).

The second vessel is a new high-spec, highly capable DP combination S-Lay vessel with a 2000t crane, to be named Derrick Lay Vessel 2000. The vessel is being constructed at Singapore’s Keppel Singmarine, part of Keppel Offshore & Marine, and is due for delivery during 2014.

Developed by Keppel’s ship design arm, Marine Technology Development (MTD), DLV2000 is equipped to support advanced deepwater pipelay operations that will allow pipelines to be installed at depths of up to 3048m (10,000ft). An economical vessel transit speed is expected to be 12knots with a top speed of 14knots. On completion, the vessel will be able to accommodate up to 400 personnel.