Rolls-Royce signs contract for 500th UT-Design vesselNews // November 18, 2005
Rolls-Royce has signed a contract to supply the design and equipment package for a new deep water anchor handling vessel (AHTS), Type UT787 CD. Aker Yards will build the vessel for the Norwegian shipowner Island Offshore.
The order is the 500th order for a UT-Design, a significant event in a story extending over more than 30 years.
The story began in the early 1970s when offshore oil and gas development in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea got under way and it became apparent that more seaworthy and effective support vessels were required.
Ulstein Trading (UT) used knowledge gained from designing fishing vessels for extreme conditions to develop improved types of offshore support vessel. The first vessel, the UT704 anchorhandler Stad Scotsman, was ordered in 1974 by the shipowner that is today Farstad Shipping.
The UT704 set the standard for AHTS, with 13 vessels contracted in the following year and altogether 91 during life of the design.
Stad Scotsman, now Seabulk Condor, is currently in service off West Africa. In parallel with the UT704 came the UT705 platform supply vessel (PSV), which also set the standard in its class.
The UT concept of outstanding vessel designs and packages of matching equipment and systems rapidly became established, providing the owner and charterer with a reliable vessel and simplifying the supply chain for the shipyard.
One result has been that UT-Design offshore vessels have been built for an international spectrum of owners by yards in 22 countries around the globe, with large numbers constructed in some countries, for example 265 in Norway, 37 in India, 30 in Brazil, 28 in Korea and 23 in Singapore.
There have been two main lines of development in UT-Design in the course of these 30 years, and they will continue in the future.
One is the design of vessels to meet the general needs of the offshore market. A good example is the UT755 supply vessel. Originally designed in 1995 to meet what the designers in UT saw as a future need for a compact multi functional PSV, it has gone on to be the most popular design with 88 vessels in service or on order.
The second line of development is in co-operating closely with a shipowner to work out a design for a vessel to meet a set of specific requirements, such as a long term charter. Island Frontier, UT 737L, exemplifies this in creative thinking that opened the way for well intervention from handy ships instead of rigs or platforms.
“Island Offshore is continuing this type of collaboration with our UT 787 CD intervention vessel currently under construction,” said Håvard Ulstein, managing director of Island Offshore.
“The people behind the UT concept have the ability to continuously develop new and better solutions, also the design and equipment work perfectly together as one integrated unit. That is why most of our fleet consists of vessels of UT-Design.”
UT-Design is now an important part of the Rolls-Royce marine business that also designs and manufactures the engines, propellers, thrusters, winches, bulk handling systems, automation and other equipment which go to make the UT concept the world leader in offshore service vessels.