Deepwater operations are increasingly demanding more personnel offshore, often for longer periods of time, placing a greater emphasis on crew accommodation. Now accommodation and special features join safety as the key components for a new range of comfortable, large-scale offshore housing vessels.
Emerging in this range is Hornbeck Offshore Services’ HOS Achiever, a ship perceived as relatively normal offshore multipurpose vessel. What’s unique about HOS Achiever, though, is what she accomplishes.
In order to provide top-of-the-line offshore housing, Hornbeck has essentially converted the HOS Achiever into a floating hotel (flotel) with total accommodation for the berthing of 267 persons by way of 93 air-conditioned and heated staterooms. Also chief are the ship’s amenities: HOS Achiever houses a coffee and tea room, diner, exercise room, galley, internet café and quiet room, laundry room, locker/wash room, recreation room, smoker’s lounge, sick bay and deck changing room. And with DP-3 positioning, a motion-compensated gangway, helideck, helicopter refueling capabilities and a 160-metric-ton crane, HOS Achiever’ safety and comfort are notably matched by functionality.
Originally conceived as a dive support and construction vessel, the HOS Achiever has lived up to its designation as a multipurpose support vessel. Since its launch in 2008, the HOS Achiever has supported a diverse range of offshore activities such as platform inspection, repair and maintenance activity, well intervention projects including decommissioning and riserless intervention – periodically serving as a flotel for major projects throughout.
But HOS Achiever’s capacity for accommodation has made her especially attractive to customers requiring flotel support, particularly for offshore construction and wind farm operations. Hornbeck recently won a contract to support the hookup and commissioning of an extended tension leg platform production facility in the ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico, a project that requires hundreds of offshore workers to transfer repeatedly between the worksite and dynamically positioned vessel over an extended period of time.
Aiming to upholding safety and expand upon the comfort range of previous flotel configurations, Hornbeck consulted crew and operations management teams as part of its meticulous configuration of the flotel design geared specifically for the project.
“The additional accommodations were custom designed and constructed according to specifications that were intended to match the comfort and quality of the vessel’s preexisting berths, a representative from Hornbeck said. “Hornbeck believes the vessel will provide a safe, DP-3 mono-hull solution to a specific niche based on the available berthing and differentiating features, such as a motion-compensated gangway and helicopter refueling capabilities.”
HOS Achiever’s conversion was completed at a Gulf of Mexico shipyard in January 2014, and the vessel was delivered to HOS Port, the company’s shore-based facility in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, where it awaits commissioning.
The possibilities for offshore housing do not stop with HOS Achiever. Hornbeck said it sees potential for additional vessels dedicated to accommodation support; the company is actively evaluating alternative designs which will provide a solution that qualifies under the Jones Act to meet an anticipated surge of new floating production systems in the Gulf of Mexico.
Dimensions and regulatory information
Length: 432 ft 1 in (131.7 m)
Beam: 72 ft 1 in (22.0 m)
Draft Max: 22 ft 2 in (6.75 m)
Draft Min: 14 ft (4.27 m)
Tonnage/Gross: 8,524 GT
Net: 2,558 NT
Certifications: Oceans, SOLAS
Classifications: DNV, DYNPOS-AUTRO (+DPS-3), 1A1, SF, HELDK, E0, DK(+)
Cruise Speed: 12 kts 296 gal/hr (1,120 l/h)
Max Speed: 13 kts
On DP: 146 gal/hr (553 l/h)