LR establishes new notations for Offshore Support Vessels and Walk-to-Work technology

Lloyd’s Register (LR) has introduced a range of class notations for offshore support vessels (OSVs) to reflect their development and changing service features, while retaining established notations. The new notations cover vessels intended to operate in the renewable sector, for example those servicing the offshore wind market. 

LR has also launched the special feature notation, ‘W2W’ (Walk-to-Work), which is applicable to personnel transfer systems. These systems are now increasingly used not only in the in the renewable sector but also in the oil and gas sector.

The notation ‘Offshore Support Vessel' has been introduced where more specific notations might fall outside the scope of the intended operation of the vessel. The expanding vessel type sometimes referred to as SOV (service operation vessel) which supports the offshore wind farm industry would fall into this category, and with LR’s new ‘W2W’ notation included in the string of class notations, it is now possible define this type of vessel and its operations. 

As of 1 July 2016 the following vessel type notations are now offered by LR for OSV’s:

  • AHTS: Assigned to vessels designed for anchor handling, towing and supply of specialised stores and cargo. 
  • Anchor handler: Assigned to vessels specially designed, constructed and equipped for handling anchors used to secure floating offshore installations. 
  • Cable laying vessel: Assigned where special consideration has been given to operations for laying/maintaining underwater cables. 
  • Diving support vessel: Assigned where a diving system has been installed and where special consideration has been given to the launch and recovery systems for diving operations, including the strength and continuity in way of moon pools, large hatches, heavy loads, etc. 
  • Offshore supply vessel: Assigned to vessels designed for the carriage of specialised stores and cargoes to fixed or floating offshore installations. 
  • Offshore support vessel: Assigned to vessels designed for the provision of support services to fixed or floating offshore installations. 
  • Offshore well stimulation ship: Assigned where a plant has been installed and where special consideration has been given to operations associated with the stimulation of wells for offshore oil/gas production. 
  • Pipe laying vessel: Assigned where special consideration has been given to operations for laying/maintaining pipes associated with offshore oil/gas production. 
  • Seismographic research vessel: Assigned where special consideration has been given to operations associated with seismographic research and survey. 
  • Standby vessel: Assigned to vessels designed to provide rescue assistance and afford safe refuge in the event of an emergency on or near an offshore installation.
  • Subsea support vessel: Assigned where special consideration has been given to operations associated with subsea construction and installation support, inspection, repair and maintenance.
LR has also expanded available special feature notations with the following:

  • W2W: Walk-to-Work can be assigned where the vessels personnel transfer system is included in the class notation. 
  • EWP: Enhanced Weather Protection notation has been introduced for more clear distinction between vessels capabilities and makes it clear that superstructure, windows and side scuttles have increased scantlings for vessels that are required to remain on-station in adverse weather conditions.
Richard McLoughlin, LR’s Strategic Market Manager, commented: “The drive by industry to deliver innovative solutions, designed to operate under challenging offshore conditions, has been tremendous. Our new class notations are Lloyd’s Register’s response to that evolution and ensure the role of class continues to deliver stakeholder assurance.”