Birth of a sea giant

21 January 2014

Heerema Marine Contractors’ new DCV, Aegir, is named after the king of the sea creatures in Norse mythology. The 211-metre long vessel is certainly a modern-day ruler of the deep.

Aegir, a Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) deepwater construction vessel (DCV) capable of handling complex infrastructure and pipeline projects at depths of up to 3,500 metres, was named in Rotterdam recently.

A self-propelled monohull vessel, the Lloyd’s Register-classed Aegir has a 48 MW power plant, two engine rooms and six 8 MW diesel generators and can accommodate up to 305 people onboard. Apart from her deepwater capabilities, the 211-metre long, 46-metre wide vessel’s offshore mast crane can lift loads of up to 4,000 tonnes and install platforms.

The Aegir has two bridges. The front bridge will be used for sea transport operations and the rear for survey, remotely operated vehicle (ROV), dynamic positioning and pipelaying activities.

The vessel, which is named after the king of the sea creatures in Norse mythology, is a customised version of the Ulstein Sea of Solutions SOC 5000 design, and features a class three dynamic positioning system (DP AAA). The monohull of the vessel has been specifically designed to provide a high transit speed in excess of 12 knots.

During the construction phase, four projects were running in parallel. While the vessel was being built at the DSME yard in Okpo, South Korea, the Huisman Equipment yard in China fabricated the mast crane; ReMaCut in Italy built the multijointing and pipe-handling equipment and Huisman Equipment in the Netherlands constructed the dual-purpose pipelay tower. It took 55,000 tonnes of steel, 1,500 kilometres of welding and 1,300 kilometers of electric wiring in total to build the vessel.

HMC’s Asset Manager, Alex Cofino, said: “The great merit of the Aegir is her versatility and ability to switch operational modes.

Operators using the vessel will have the advantage of having just one ship for field development work instead of two or more. The Aegir is the first vessel in the world to use a portable reel system. The reels are delivered on site, which avoids having to sail back and forth to the spoolbase on shore, thus saving valuable vessel time. The vessel can also rapidly switch from reellaying to J-laying activities.

“Among the key tasks the vessel will be able to perform are the carrying and installing of platforms, heavy lifting, deep sea operations, mooring line deployment and tension-leg platform (TLP) installations.”

Piet Mast, Lloyd’s Register’s Marine Area Manager for Nordic and Western Europe, added: “It all began with supporting Heerema Marine Contractors and its designer, Ulstein Sea of Solutions, during the concept design phase. Final approval in principle, through approval of basic classification and statutory plans and documentation during the basic engineering phase, was followed by survey during construction, together with the plan appraisal of the detailed design with the DSME yard in South Korea.

“LR also supported Heerema’s main contractor for the mission equipment, Huisman Equipment of the Netherlands, during the design and construction for the pipe/reel-lay equipment and the 4,000 tonnes SWL heavy lift crane. This resulted in a cooperative project during the installation of that equipment in the Netherlands, with final extensive testing, commissioning and trials in the Gulf of Mexico.

“LR is proud to be Heerema’s key classification society for this, and their future complex newbuilding projects, and is looking forward to continuing to support Heerema’s asset management team with this additional asset to their fleet, through a highly qualified team of surveyors from the Rotterdam Offshore Services team, supported by global colleagues.”

After her final deepwater trials in the Gulf of Mexico, Aegir’s first project will be the installation of risers at a depth of 2,000 metres for Anadarko in the Lucius Field in the Gulf of Mexico. She will then be deployed to carry out installation and construction, working at depths of up to 250 metres, as part of the Inpex Ichthys LNG project off the Western Australia coast.

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