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    First-of-type fast catamaran under construction

    Vessel & ROV News // September 12, 2013

    Designed by Incat Crowther, the FCB will have an offshore access system.

    Incat Crowther has†announced that construction has started of†first-of-type 70m Catamaran Fast Crew Boat (FCB) which complies with†the†IMO's HSC code, which also has†a crew transfer system consisting of dynamic positioning equipment class (DP2) coupled with a stabilized access platform.

    Construction of the vessel has commenced at Incat Tasmania, with delivery scheduled for September 2014.

    The vessel will operate as a fast crew transfer vessel for 150 offshore workers to multiple offshore installations. The hull design has been optimized for high speed transits with specific features to limit the sea sickness of transiting offshore workers. The on-board noise, vibration and indoor climate is in accordance with DNV comfort class notation. The vessel is designed to operate in sea conditions of 40 knot wind and seas of 3m significant wave height.

    The high speed of the 70m FCB allows operational cost efficiency over helicopter transfer for passengers and cargo, whilst the advanced design ensures the crew arrive at the platform fit for work.

    Crew transfer is completed primarily by a stabilized access platform, providing a level platform and gangway to access the offshore platform from the vessel. The access platform compensates for the vessels motion by using 6 hydraulic cylinders. The vessel will hold station using dynamic positioning (DNV DYNPOS-AUTR), and in combination with the stabilized access platform, crew transfers will be performed in up to sea state 4.

    This vessel is the first catamaran to utilize this system and the first to have the stabilized access platform structure and supporting systems integrated into the design. For redundancy and operations in higher sea conditions, a crane lifted personnel transfer system is provided for up to 2 groups of 9 offshore workers.

    Whilst the primary function of the vessel is crew transfer, the vessels arrangement provides flexibility with over 100 square meters of cargo deck, rated at 2t/m2. This capacity will allow the vessel to complete cargo hot shots for up to 110 tonnes of specialized equipment to a range of 300nm at speeds up to 35 knots.

    The new unit was designed by Incat Crowther with production engineering by Revolution Design.†

    The high level of passenger comfort on the 70m FCB will be achieved by the vesselís advanced semi-SWATH hull form, combined with a resiliently mounted main cabin and superstructure and active ride control system consisting of T-Foil, interceptors and yaw stabilisers.

    Passengers are accommodated on both the main deck and mid-deck, with the mid-deck featuring crew accommodation for 14. All crew cabins are ILO-compliant. The main deck also features VIP rooms, vending machines, luggage space and a large workshop.

    The aft cargo deck measures in excess of 400 square meters; housing the stabilized access platform, dedicated landing area for the crane lifted personnel transfer system, as well as 10í luggage containers and hot shot cargo area.

    Four MTU 16V4000 engines will power the vessel driving Hamilton HT-900 water jet propulsion with a service speed of 30 knots at full load condition and 90 per cent MCR in sea state 4. Four azimuthing drop-down thrusters forward will take care of maneuvering, with the vessel having DP-2 equivalent DNV classification.

    Safety of operation and environmental protection is a high priority; subsequently the environmental impact of the vesselís emissions to air, discharges to sea, deliveries to shore from the vessel and protection against accidents are controlled and designed in accordance with environmental class. The safety of vessels operation is prioritized by the bridge design and navigational equipment compliance with nautical safety class.

    The new crew transfer vessels will be delivered to Caspian Marine Services Ltd (CMS) in Baku, Azerbaijan, via a transit through the Volga-Don Canal. Once deployed, CMS will operate the vessels, providing crew transfer and hot shot cargo services to platforms in such fields as Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli (ACG), the largest oil field in Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea and Shah Deniz (a large offshore gas and condensate field).

    The oil and gas produced from these fields is transported by tanker for processing in Baku, and then transported via pipeline through Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan or the Georgian port of Supsa in the Black Sea.

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