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According to Voith Turbo Schneider, the 145 m long,30 m wide offshore construction vessel being built for North Sea Invest AS, is the largest and most powerful ship to be equipped with Voith Schneider Propellers as main propulsion.

A new ship for Norway-based North Sea Invest AS will be built in Vigo, Spain, by Astilleros Barrera, with commissioning scheduled in 2010. With an impressive size of 145 m in length and 30 m in width, it will be utilized as an offshore construction vessel for the installation of platforms and extraction systems, as well as for laying pipelines.

The ship can accommodate 120 crew members and will be equipped with two heave-compensated cranes that adapt hydraulically to prevailing sea movements and with a helipad. Thus, the boat will be supplied from the air during long-term duty at sea. “Three thousand meters of ocean depth, with the search for new oil and gas fields extended to sea areas and to greater and greater ocean depths, it is essential for offshore construction vessels to be able to perform, even when seas are high and weather conditions bad,” said Ivo Beu, project manager of Voith Turbo Schneider Propulsion, while commenting on the new offshore construction vessel for which his company has supplied five Voith Schneider Propellers (VSPs).

According to Beu, this will be the largest and most powerful ship ever fitted with VSPs as the main propulsion system. “Three VSPs are installed in the stern and two in the bow,” said Beu. “All five are VSP 36R6 EC/280-2. The ship is driven by five electric motors with a total output of 19 000 kW, and will reach a maximum sail speed of 16 knots.”

The vessel will also be equipped with a redundant dynamic positioning system (DP2) to keep the ship at a given working position. In addition, it will include a Voith Roll Stabilization (VRS) system to reduce rolling motions when seas are high. These devices will also enable the
crew to work in bad weather conditions. “The ultimate reason for the offshore construction vessel being fitted with Voith components is the performance that we can achieve with the VSP in combination with our roll stabilization system,” concluded Beu. “These ships need such equipment to perform their duties.

This unit, for example, will be ideal for the laying of pipelines.” Another example of Voith components for vessels designed to support offshore oil and gas installations are the two giant bevel gear units with a rim diameter of 2.3 m and a weight of 5 tons each that have recently been produced by Voith Turbo Schneider Propulsion in Heidenheim, Germany. The company said it took six months to manufacture the gear units, which are destined for two VSPs, each featuring six blades. The two VSPs have a joint input power of 7600 kW. The assembly of these two powerful components was also carried out at Voith Turbo in Heidenheim.

The two propellers will go to the Norwegian shipyard Karmsund Maritime AS, where they will be installed on an inspection maintenance and repair vessel of the shipping company Østensjø. The vessel will be used worldwide for inspection and repairing of underwater installations such as pipelines as of 2009. According to Voith Turbo Schneider, this vessel is one of the fastest and most powerful ships fitted with VSPs, reaching a speed of 18 knots.

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