On Wednesday 22 August 2012 the keel-laying ceremony for the 550t pipelaying vessel for Subsea 7 took place at IHC Merwede’s yard in Krimpen aan den IJssel (The Netherlands). The keel laying was performed by Mr Rien Smallegange, Subsea 7’s Deputy Project Manager.
IHC Merwede’s contract with Subsea 7 is for the design, engineering and construction of a new advanced pipelaying vessel, which will have an overall length of 146 meters, a beam of 30 meters and a Class-2 dynamic positioning system. Subsea 7 selected IHC Merwede due to its efficiency and reliability in delivering four previous orders on time.
The keel-laying ceremony was held one month ahead of the original schedule. Delivery of the vessel will be in the first half of 2014, as planned. This pipelaying vessel will be used to develop deep-sea oilfields off the coast of Brazil on behalf of Petrobras. On 27-28 September a Petrobras delegation visited the Krimpen aan den IJssel yard and they were suitably impressed by the facility and the progress of the overall project.
In addition to this pipelaying vessel, IHC Merwede is designing, building and engineering two identical 550t pipelaying vessels for TL Offshore, a subsidiary of SapuraKencana, which will also be chartered by Petrobras. A third vessel for SapuraKencana, with a top tension capacity of 300t, will also be designed and engineered by IHC Merwede. This vessel will be - in accordance with the requirements of Petrobras - built in Brazil, at the OSX yard in Açu, Rio de Janeiro. All three vessels will be equipped with IHC Merwede pipelaying spreads.