First such vessel built in Singapore.
Hovertrans Solutions Pte. Ltd. (Hovertrans Solutions) announced today that it has successfully completed the construction of a modular heavy lift hovercraft, the first of its kind to be built in Singapore. The hovercraft, commonly referred to as a hoverbarge, is now ready for charter. It is ideal for industries such as oil and gas, heavy logistics industries as well as for civil engineering work in otherwise inaccessible or environmentally sensitive terrain.
Built in ST Marine’s Benoi Yard, the Hoverbarge measuring 34m by 17m with a 50-tonne payload, is formed by joining specially designed modular ISO container size pontoons with skirt pontoons and a lift fan and engine module. This modularity means the entire Hoverbarge can be trucked individually to inland areas that need such a capability and which would otherwise be impossible to access. It also allows for shipping via conventional container vessels - thus keeping mobilisation costs low. With a hover height of 1.8m, the Hoverbarge is able to operate in high sea conditions and overcome obstacles on land.
Mr Ng Sing Chan, President of ST Marine and Chairman of Hovertrans Solutions said, “The successful completion of this Hoverbarge marks a turning point for ST Marine and Hovertrans Solutions.” He stressed, “The completion of the Hoverbarge now enables potential customers to see and appreciate how a hoverbarge works and its potential for a diverse range of applications.”
This 50-tonne Hoverbarge is different from conventional high speed hovercraft as it is constructed of steel to provide the ruggedness needed for the oil and gas sector. It is also designed for cold weather operations up to - 40°C. It can move heavy cargo or equipment over swamps, wetlands, tundra, ice, dry rivers and shallow water, opening up exciting possibilities for oil and gas exploration and remote field development. With a footprint of only 1 psi, conducting operations in environmentally sensitive terrain will now become a real possibility.