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.