Damen’s first service operation vessel gets offshore maintenance personnel to work in comfort
In February 2016, global shipbuilder Damen cut steel for the first of its new class of service operation vessels (SOVs). The new vessels will offer ‘walk to work’ capabilities for personnel who service offshore energy facilities. ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products is supplying steel plates for the initial vessel: the Bibby WaveMaster 1.
Damen’s SOV is specifically designed as a service vehicle for offshore wind farms and oil and gas fields, particularly those farther from shore. “Wind turbines are getting bigger and energy providers are building them further out to sea than ever before,” notes René Hooijman, SOV project manager for Damen. “As a result they need bigger vessels which can stay out to sea for longer.”
ArcelorMittal Galati (Romania) began delivering the plate required to build the first SOV in February 2016. Although the steel is a standard shipbuilding grade, the dimensions required by Damen have challenged the mill. “Half of the plates are very thin and wide,” explains Antoine Dhennin, head of supply chain at ArcelorMittal Galati. “The tolerances are very low but the main challenge has come from the short six-week lead time.”
René Hooijman is very pleased with ArcelorMittal Galati’s performance to date:
“The logistics flow is very efficient. They’re doing a good job.”
The steel is shipped to Damen’s yard in Galati where it is built into sections. “Those sections are very advanced when they are assembled into blocks which form the hull,” says René Hooijman. “It’s a relatively quick process and should enable us to launch the hull in January 2017.” After outfitting, testing, and sea trials, the first SOV will enter service in May 2017.
ArcelorMittal’s relationship with Damen in Galati has been a long one and involves close collaboration between our customer technical support (CTS) team and the shipbuilder’s own technical and design teams. “Through this contact, the CTS team is able to understand the challenges Damen faces and develop customised solutions,” explains Christophe Degand, head of technical customer teams for Business Division Galati & Skopje. “We strive to identify and propose solutions before the customer actually needs them.”
“We stand side-by-side with Damen in their endeavour to continuously develop their portfolio of specialised vessels,” comments Bogdan Ifrim, ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products’ country head for Romania. “Our goal is to anticipate their needs so that we are ready for the next challenge.”