Wärtsilä diesel-electric propulsion plants of 11.5 MW have been ordered in August for two heavy-lift transport vessels to be converted for Fairmount Heavy Transport NV
, an associated company of the Rotterdam-based towage contractor Fairmount Marine BV
The "Fairmount Fjord" and "Fairmount Fjell" were originally semi-submersible barges and are being converted to self-propelled heavy-lift transport vessels. When the conversions are completed in the second half of 2006, the vessels will be primarily employed in the transport of offshore equipment such
as jack-up and semi-submersible drilling rigs, and floating production units for the offshore oil and gas industry
. With this type of vessel, the cargo is loaded and unloaded when the vessel is ballasted down to a semi-submerged condition. The cargo is then floated on and off the vessel's large open cargo deck.
The "Fairmount Fjord" has dimensions of 164.3 m length between perpendiculars, 45.5 m breadth and 9 m depth. The "Fairmount Fjell" has dimensions of 146.3 m length bp, 36.0 m breadth and 9 m depth.
For each vessel, Wärtsilä Corporation will deliver three Wärtsilä diesel generating sets, two Lips steerable thrusters and a Lips bow thruster. The three 8-cyliner in-line Wärtsilä 32 diesel generating sets each have a maximum continuous power output of 3840 kW at 720 rpm. The sets will supply electrical power to two 4500 kW steerable thrusters having a fixed-pitch propeller of 3400 mm diameter in a high-performance HR nozzle. The 1500 kW bow thruster will have a 2250 m-diameter controllable-pitch propeller. The diesel-electric propulsion plants will give the vessels a service speed of 12 knots.
The choice of a diesel-electric propulsion plant gives freedom in the layout of the plant, with the generating sets being located in a forward engine room distant from the main thrusters. The diesel-electric plant also provides power for the large pumping capacity required during cargo-handling operations. Steerable thrusters aft and the bow thruster forward will give excellent manoeuvrability.
The propulsion plants were contracted in August 2005 from a consortium formed by Wärtsilä and the Dutch company Imtech NV, a specialist in electrical installations and integrated bridge systems
. The consortium is responsible for the initial design of the power plant: the supply of the complete generating sets, thrusters, all ancillary systems
, electrical switchboards, and the integrated bridge system, including controls for the whole power plant. As part of the comprehensive solution, Imtech will provide the navigation, automation and related electrical systems