The Technology EnviroMax Deepwater OSV

Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Image courtesy Technology Associates, Inc

Technology Associates, Inc (TAI) a New Orleans based Naval Architecture firm which also has an office in India has unveiled its Technology EnviroMax 300 OSV. Utilizing a unique Designer/Builder relationship, this design was developed in conjunction with Thoma‐Sea Shipyards. The design already has up to six vessels under construction at Thoma‐Sea Shipyards’ facilities in Lockport, Laa. Thoma‐ Sea Shipyards acquired this facility from Halter Marine in 2002 and has been using it to build OSV’s up to 270ft. Thoma‐Sea also intends to build more vessels from the Technology EnviroMax 300 OSV design at their new shipyard in Houma, LA. The first set of vessels being built is a part of a new build program for Gulf Offshore Logistics (GOL). As a leading Offshore Oilfield Support Company, GOL has assets which service shallow water, deep water and ultra deep water oil and gas exploration and production. GOL also has a full service facility in Port Fourchon, LA. Other builders and owners have also expressed interest in the Technology EnviroMax 300 OSV design.

The design of this 295x62x23 ft (89.9x18.9x7.01 m) hull was developed with the following parameters;
(1) Maximize dead weight and mix of cargo carrying capability in the hull envelope, while maintaining hull size parameters within American Bureau of Shipping under 90 M rules.

(2) Maximize vessel’s speed because the use of the application of traditional cargo ship design principals allows the vessel to provide maximum cargo on location on an annualized basis and maximum turn around trips due to the increased vessel speed.

(3) Maximize the sea state in which the vessel can operate and maintain station on DP mode. This provides the charterer cargo unloading in maximum sea states on site in a particular geographic area and the Owner a competitive edge.

(4) Minimize installed propulsion BHP in order to minimize the annual fuel consumption, carbon foot print emission and other pollutants.

(5) Minimize environmental impact by making the design conform to ABS Green Passport, IMO, MARPOL and SOLAS requirements to obtain ABS Enviro notation on its certificate.

(6) Minimize vessel operating expenses using easy maintenance techniques in the design.

(7) Minimize vessel construction costs using the newly developed, proprietary and copyrighted TAIThom‐ Sea structural method, so that the design can be built and maintained competitively. This method allows reduced construction man hours and also allows the vessel to be built by lower overhead which gives shipyards who do not have the latest most modern production equipment a chance to build in the competitive market. Approximately 30% reduced welding increases production efficiency.

(8) Maximize Flexibility: Recognizing emerging legislation due to the 2010 Macondo oil spill, oil and gas operators will be required to have enhanced and more capable oil spill response capability. The Technology EnviroMax 300 OSV design has the flexibility to be readily adapted to Oil Spill Collection functions. Adaptations of the hull form also allow it to be adapted for short sea container shipping, and as a sub‐sea maintenance and support vessel.

The Technology EnviroMax 300 OSV came about when Thoma‐Sea presented a set of challenging requirements to TAI, and TAI did an extensive study prior to developing the design goals and philosophy for the Technology EnviroMax 300 OSV design including a comprehensive analysis of publicly available cargo carrying capacity information of most leading designs in the industry. TAI decided that in order to develop a design which would be successful in highly competitive cyclical market conditions, it would have to stay ahead in the market even during business down turn cycles. Thus the design would have to be superior in its capabilities, as well as flexible in its applications. This fundamental approach would allow the vessels to stay in demand for decades.

In order to achieve this goal, the design would have to meet the following criteria;
1. The design would need to have a maximized hull cargo space to total hull volume space ratio. This is a ratio developed by TAI whereby the volume of the hull devoted to actual carriage of cargoes is divided by the total volume of the hull. Even though all traditional OSV designs have hull cargo allocation which exceeds the vessel’s dead weight, the maximization of this ratio is necessary to provide the vessel Owner the maximum flexibility to market its vessel and carry a maximum mix of cargoes at any one time. Coupled with a design which allows the deepest ABS load line allocation for a vessel of this class, this approach maximizes the dead weight volumes available and offers the vessel Owner a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The design would need to have a hull form to achieve an optimal balance between minimum hull resistance and maximum dead weight. In order to achieve a block coefficient ratio and optimal hull form, extensive three dimensional modeling of the hull form and continuous iterative improvement of these goals would have to take place. This requires constant vigilance of the hull resistance, while achieving excellent sea keeping, and maximizing the block coefficient to provide the maximum dead weight. The increased block coefficient intuitively goes against the least resistance approach. Extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics Analyses were performed in conjunction with Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) to optimize the wake flow characteristics, the hull shape and the bulbous bow. Since deep water oil fields are further away and the transit distances are becoming large, maximizing transit speed is a key issue in offering more cargo to site with maximum annual turn around trips and thus increasing vessel utility to the charterer.

Within the new environmental ABS, IMO, SOLAS and MARPOL regulations, and the need to obtain Green Passport and Enviro classification, the distribution of cargoes and their relative contiguity within the hull had to be reconsidered in order to obtain maximum use of the available hull space and obtain the hull cargo ratio discussed above in excess of other vessels in the marketplace. The Technology EnviroMax 300 OSV design complies and shall be certified for ABS Green Passport requirements with ACCU Notation. All of the pollution abatement equipment such as Oil Filtering Equipment, Marine Sanitation Device, etc. meet the state of the art designs in compliance with the latest MEPC regulations of MARPOL. The vessels will also be certified for ISM, IAPP, IOPP, and EIAPP. The Vessel’s painting systems will meet all of the regulations for obtaining an International antifouling system certificate. Organotin compounds are not being used in the hull painting and all refrigerants used in the vessels are environmental friendly.

2. OSV vessel designers traditionally have not concentrated their effort towards minimizing fuel oil consumption because in traditional charter hire contracts the Oil companies have provided fuel. This contractual arrangement has not traditionally provided the vessel owner or designer an incentive to minimize fuel consumption. The Thoma‐Sea/TAI team projects that in light of the increasing energy costs in the not too distant future, Oil and Gas Operators, who are extremely safety and environmentally conscious, will start looking at the fuel consumption aspect very closely. Since there is a direct correlation between fuel oil consumption and carbon foot print emission, by ensuring minimum fuel oil consumption this new design provides a double payback to the vessel and the Oil and Gas Operators. These criteria led to a careful evaluation of the vessel’s power plant, propulsion system and to the choice of a carefully designed diesel electric power and propulsion system for optimal use of fuel consumption in transit and DP modes.

3. Retention of the best crews is an important aspect of successful OSV operations. Thus significant effort was expended to ensure that the vessel design is sea kindly, and the accommodations and operational systems are designed with crew comfort in mind.

4. To keep life cycle maintenance cost low, simplicity of on board systems, choice of supportable modern systems, ease of on board and shipyard maintenance were also a design criteria.

The Technology EnviroMax 300 is designed to provide offshore services worldwide. It is being classed by American Bureau of Shipping, and meets all rigorous ABS ENVIRO requirements and the requirements of the USCG, subchapter I & L, as well as IMO, SOLAS and MARPOL international regulations.

The vessel can attain a maximum speed in excess of 14 knots. Main Propulsion installation includes 2 x Rolls‐Royce US255P Azimuth thrusters which are driven by 2200kW electric motors. The two CPP bow thrusters, each rated at 1000kW, are also electricly driven. The diesel electric plant is comprised of 2x1700kW and 2x2000kW Generators resulting in total installed electric power of 7.4 MW. A separate small generator allows in port duty and total shut down of the diesel electric plant in harbor for additional fuel savings and carbon foot print reduction. This stepped approach in using different sized generators ensure maximum loading of each generator on line for maximum efficiency. The diesel generator sets are mounted using resilient mounts to minimize vibrations and noise for maximum crew comfort. Structure borne and airborne noise is reduced as much as possible. Furthermore, the vessel’s cooling system has been optimized to minimize piping and maximize functionality while maintaining redundancy requirements.

Thoma‐Sea and Rolls Royce have had a long term relationship on many projects. Thoma‐Sea decided to use Rolls Royce as a complete integrated single system supplier with single point responsibility in many key areas.

Rolls Royce’s supply includes;
1. Integrated automation system (ACON) for control and monitoring of ship equipment, machinery, and cargo transfer. This system includes Tailor‐made graphical pictures using MS Windows based manmachine interface to display necessary information and makes the system easy to operate.
2. The Rolls Royce Propulsion Remote Control System (Helicon X3) allows accurate and reliable control of the propellers pitch and motor speed. The propulsion control is available at bridge wings, fore and aft stations as well as in the machinery control room.
3. The Joystick system (POSCON).
4. ICON DP Dynamic Positioning System.
5. All Generators and all major electric motors onboard.
6. Switch boards and propulsion drives (Active Front End).
7. State of the art power management and black out prevention system.
8. Azimuth thrusters and the bow thrusters.

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