HATLAPA is playing an active role in helping to protecting our coastlines. The manufacturer‟s experience in the development and production of steering gear, compressors, deck machinery and offshore winches has led to a 2.5 million Euro order for deck machinery, steering gear and compressors for the Nordic.
Initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, the construction of the emergency tug vessel was undertaken by three ship owners in the German Bight – Bugsier, Fairplay Towage and Unterweser – joined by Wiking Helikopter, a local specialist helicopter company. The Nordic‟s duties will include rescue and recovery of damaged vessels in the North Sea, preventing environmental catastrophies such as the one caused by the Pallas Incident in the late 1990‟s.
In 1998, the cargo ship Pallas had run aground near the North Frisian island Amrum, spilling 90 tons of oil which caused the death of 12,000 seabirds and a few dozen seals. The cargo ship was on fire for weeks without being salvaged. As a result of this incident, the offshore tug vessel Oceanic was put on duty to guard the North Sea Coast against pollution. The 45 million Euro vessel Nordic will replace the Oceanic, patrolling Helgoland around the clock with its crew of 16.
“In the event of a callout, the most important equipment on board the 78 metre, 3300 ton emergency tug vessel is a specialised HATLAPA towing winch – in this case two identical ones, installed one behind the other in a so-called „waterfall design‟”, explains Specialist Winch Designer, Jobst Haasemann. Each dynamic towing winch provides up to 250 tons dynamic pull and up to 380 tons static brake holding force.
“The purpose of having two identical 75 ton winches, each carrying 1400 meters of steel wire weighing 40 tons, is guaranteed reliability”, explains Offshore Sales Manager Uwe Nickschat. This duplication means having a backup solution at the push of a button, should there ever be technical difficulties with one of the winches. Each winch has its own drive and can be operated separately.
“This kind of „belt and braces‟ approach is relatively new to HATLAPA. It is not usually common in offshore and merchant shipping applications to install two pieces of equipment designed for exactly the same duty”, states Nickschat. “You could say it is both expensive and excessive, as in reality, this type of equipment rarely ever fails.”
However, in this specific instance, the comprehensive safety concept is based on „worst-case-scenario‟ planning: the emergency tug vessel is equipped even for the unlikeliest of emergency situations. “We took great delight in meeting the requirements for this project. It proved HATLAPA‟s flexibility and its ability to play in a higher league”, says Nickschat proudly.
“The performance of these towing winches is truly incredible: each has an output of approximately 1000 kW”, explains Haasemann. “This means the Nordic can recover any type of vessel, including large cargo ships and oil tankers, even in rough weather conditions.”
This was not the first order of this kind for HATLAPA – the offshore research vessel Meteor, the Arctic supply vessel Polarstern, and also the research vessels Sonne and Maria have HATLAPA‟s highly specialised equipment on board. In addition, HATLAPA supplied the multi-purpose vessels, Arkona, Neuwerk, Mellum and Scharhörn.