Original article published in Damen’s Offshore & Gas Magazine 26/08/2018
With recent tank towing and wind tunnel tests successfully concluded, Damen is close to finalising the design of its Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 7011 – a vessel that builds on the proven capabilities of the Damen FCS range, while, at the same time, heralding revolutionary shifts within the offshore industry.
A SOLUTION FOR TOMORROW
In the development of the FCS 7011, Damen has consulted stakeholders across the offshore energy industries. Damen Business Development Manager David Stibbe said, “We have spoken to vessel operators, oil & gas companies and also to suppliers throughout the industry. We’ve left no stone unturned in developing an understanding of the challenges faced by the industry and what solutions it requires – not just now, but also into the future.”
Tank tests were performed at the Delft University of Technology with a 2.8 metre model. As comfort is a key factor in the development of the vessel, Damen has carried out a large number of simulations in order to investigate seakeeping. The model testing has validated Damen’s calculations for optimal comfort. During tests at 30 and 40 knots in waves of 2-3 metres significant wave height, it was demonstrated that the ship motions become calmer as the speed increases.
A GAME CHANGER FOR A CHANGING GAME
That change is needed in crew transfer is well understood. As offshore projects – both renewable and non-renewable – are taking place farther from shore, speed is of the essence. At the same time, focus on combined safety and cost-efficiency is ever-growing.
Within such a scenario it is becoming increasingly clear that marine access solutions have an important role to play, presenting an answer to all such requirements.
Marine access also offers greater flexibility in terms of pricing; facilitating the move from the traditional day rate structure to, for example, a pay per transfer or per person model. It also offers, as the spirit of industrial collaboration grows, the opportunity for vessel sharing – multiple crews transported to multiple platforms on a single voyage for optimised cost efficiency.
The FCS 7011 offers high operability in waves, meaning higher fitness levels in passengers upon their arrival at destination. Added to this, the aluminium hull features the renowned Damen Sea Axe shape – offering unparalleled seakeeping, the hull cuts through the water reducing slamming to an absolute minimum.
“The vessel has been designed to provide marine access in sea states up to 3.0 metres Hs. It is able to land on platforms and FPSOs up to 20 metres landing height. For comfort, the two-deck passenger area is located amidships. Building on this theme, the windows offer maximum visibility to reduce risk of seasickness, while lie-flat chairs complete the picture,” stated David.
STEADY AS A ROCK AND NO ROLL
Whilst underway, the FCS 7011 will employ active interceptors to reduce vessel’s motions. However, when alongside a platform, the vessel will use a VEEM VG1000SD gyro stabilizer that will virtually eliminate roll motion during transfer operations Simulations demonstrate a roll reduction of 70% in 2.5 metre significant wave heights. These calculations have already been validated during sea trials with two VEEM VG260SD units – a smaller stabiliser unit than will feature on the FCS 7011 – on board a Damen FCS 5009.
The FCS 7011 will also feature a new Ampelmann motion-compensated access gangway – a concept also proven aboard the FCS 5009 using an Ampelmann L-type. You can read more about the FCS 5009 marine access solutions in the article. Damen has identified a number of regions where the FCS 7011 vessel’s credentials will come in handy. One of these is the Gulf of Mexico. To these ends, Damen has already licenced Metal Shark to build the ship at its Louisiana shipyard.
The vessel – 73.4 metres in length with a beam of 11 metres will carry up to 150 passengers at a time. Alongside these will be a crew of twelve. The vessel will feature a cargo deck some 80 m2. It will be able to travel at speeds of up to 39 knots with a range of 700 nautical
“It’s not very often that a vessel comes along that can truly make the claim to be gamechanging. However, having closely analysed the market needs and working so closely with key industry stakeholders in the development of the FCS 7011, we are very confident that this concept is going to be extraordinary.”