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Norwegian cat speeds in African oilfields

Nigerian operator, InterOil Services Ltd., has taken delivery of the first of three planned identical aluminum catamarans from Norwegian yard, Holen. Designed by Multi Maritime A/S, the vessel, named Ibis III, has a genuinely multi-purpose role for transporting crew, passengers, and cargo around the offshore oil fields of the west coast of Africa.

First-of-class for Holen, Ibis III has been carefully engineered to maintain high speeds in adverse weather conditions. Her hulls, which are designed on the minimum wetted surface principle, are narrow with curved frames and feature a smaller than usual section at the stern, which is made possible by the vessel's weight distribution. A breadth of tunnel in excess of 8.2 ft. (2.5 m), well rounded bows, and a high freeboard also help to ensure seagoing characteristics which the builder claims are comparable with vessels of much greater length.

Just 68.8 ft. (21 m) long — with another 5.7 ft. (1.75 m) added to incorporate a special durable fendering system, developed in order to allow safe direct contact between the vessel and offshore installations and a 25.4-ft. (7.75-m) beam molded, she is able to carry 62 passengers in a spacious airconditioned passenger saloon. The latter is situated on the main deck and is fitted with aircraft style seats and tables, televisions, centralized radio entertainment system and a kiosk serving light refreshments.

Aft of the saloon is a lobby with three toilets for crew and passengers, and crew rest rooms and shower. Luggage space is arranged forward and on the open main deck, which also houses an electrohydraulic crane aft to starboard.

Further crew accommodation is installed on the bridge deck to the rear of the wheelhouse, offering cooking facilities, sofa, table and television. Navigation and communications equipment is controlled from a modern operation cockpit and a maneuvering station also fitted at the aft end of the deckhouse.

Ibis III is powered by twin MAN D2842 LE 402 diesel engines, each developing 806 kW at 2,300 rpm. These drive through two Servogear variable-pitch propellers with Mekanord V gears and Servogear high effect rudders and brackets. Auxiliary power is supplied by Cummins/Stamford diesel/generator sets, each rated at 52 kw.

 
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