Rapp Hydema and Triplex were awarded a record-sized deck machinery contract for Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization
(CSIRO). CSIRO selected Teekay Holdings Australia
and Sembawang Shipyard Pte Ltd.
to carry out the design, build and commissioning of the vessel. Sembawang and Teekay appointed RALion (a joint-venture between Alion Science and Robert Allan LTD) to carry out the vessel basic design. The new vessel, named the Investigator, is scheduled for mid-2013 delivery. The consolidated deck and handling machinery package is due for delivery in 3Q 2012. Project management at Rapp Hydema reported that the contract apparently comprises “the most comprehensive and largest-scale research system ever delivered.” Ultimately, Rapp staff executed comprehensive analysis of dynamic loads in order to identify related drag forces and available payloads. Given the mission of working at extreme water depths (wire and cable-holding capacities range from 6000-8800 meters), this proved no small task.
Symbolic of the scale of the deck machinery package, the new vessel will include no less than three winch rooms—and yet even with such accommodations, space issues have posed a great challenge. Approximately 180 tons of deck and handling machinery, with an installed-power footprint of approximately 1800 kW, has posed special challenges in design. Among newer technologies aboard, there will be an Active Heave Compensation (AHC) package and Rapp’s own patented liquid-cooled motor, recipient of an Offshore Technology Conference innovative technology award last year. Also, electrically-driven, electronically-synchronized level-winding for the winches will also be utilized. Rapp is also providing its latest mission-specific upgrades of its long-running PTS Pentagon winch control technology, in the Research C-Bus version (for the scientific winch package management) and Fisheries C-Bus (for the fishery winches suite). Triplex equipment includes a 30-ton telescopic corer boom, a Multi-Corer Pipe Handler, Corer Pipe Davits, a 20-ton Aft A-Frame with 170⁰ stroke and a 6-ton CTD Overhead Crane. Two 180kW power units and Towing Booms (fore and aft) are also to be provided.