The Offshore Industry’s “Swiss Army Knife”

By Wendy Laursen 2015-06-12 03:33:52

NAM and Shell UK have combined forces with Royal Wagenborg and shipyard Royal Niestern Sander to build the world’s first maintenance support walk to work vessel. This documentary about its construction has just been released.

The 80m Walk to Work vessel Kroonborg is a new type of offshore maintenance support vessel, designed to provide the offshore industry with multifunctional support.

The vessel features a motion compensated Ampelmann gangway system, the world’s first heave compensated Barge Master T40 crane, a DP2 system, Voith Schneider Propellers and bow thrusters, a chemical supply and cold start-up unit, 500m2 of free deck space, a fast rescue craft, daughter craft and accommodation for 60 people.

One by one, these features are pretty common for an offshore vessel, but in combination – like a Swiss knife – the result is a unique vessel the world has not seen before, enabling offshore activities to be executed more safely and efficiently.

Kroonborg is also the first offshore vessel to be fueled by gas-to-liquid (GTL) fuel – a liquid fuel derived from natural gas that produces fewer emissions than conventional fuel.

The vessel will be used to support maintenance activities on platforms in the Southern North Sea. Many of NAM and Shell UK’s oil and gas platforms in the North Sea don’t have a permanent crew or helicopter pad, so Kroonborg will negate the need for frequent journeys by ship to and from platforms for maintenance work. It is anticipated to reduce the need for up to 600 helicopter flights a year.

The vessel is capable of transporting all the chemicals needed for intervention and restart work on a platform. It offers accommodation for 60 people, including two crews of 20 technicians. With this, crews will work over two consecutive weeks on multiple platforms.

Royal Wagenborg will support the offshore activities of Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij and Shell UK over the next 10 years.


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Australia Launches Biofouling Risk Assessment Tool

By Wendy Laursen 2015-06-12 00:02:19

The Western Australian government has taken action to help the shipping and boating industry protect Australia’s marine environment from invasive marine pests.

Fisheries Minister Ken Baston has launched a new risk assessment tool that enables operators to easily assess biofouling risk. It is designed for use before a vessel leaves its last port of call before reaching Australia.

“Vessels are the primary way marine pests are moved to new areas, and the shipping industry and resources sector, together with the Department of Fisheries, identified the need a couple of years ago for a standardized tool to help vessel managers reduce the risk of moving pests into Western Australia in biofouling,” Baston said.

Users of Vessel Check can test different scenarios for their vessel, so they can see how different management actions affect their vessel’s risk.

“Following a pilot trial, 30 submissions were received from industry consultants, inspectors, industry users, port authorities and government agencies, with feedback incorporated into the final version of Vessel Check,” Baston said.

The tool has also been validated against a range of real world vessels. “With Vessel Check, Western Australia is leading the way in managing the potential risks from biofouling that, unlike ballast water, is not regulated in a consistent manner around Australia.”

Over 250 marine species have been introduced into Australian waters by vessels of all types, from yachts to commercial ships. Of these, with up to 75 percent are likely to have arrived as biofouling attached to the external and internal surfaces of vessels.

With its large coastline and an average of 12 500 international vessel visits a year, Australia is highly exposed to the risk of invasive species from other regions being introduced into its coastal waters. Once established, marine pests are virtually impossible to eradicate.