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Another AHTS delivered to renowned US operator

On August 14, 2006, christening of a modern offshore support vessel took place at Remontowa S.A. After christening ceremony and sea trials the 120 T bollard pull AHTS ship de Moulin Tide was delivered to Tidewater Marine Inc. - the world leader in offshore support services. In all as many as six similar vessels will be delivered to New Orleans, US based operator until 2008. The construction of first units for Tidewater at REMONTOWA Group commenced in January 2004. So far - 3 units have been delivered, including de Moulin Tide, however the two initial units were of a slightly smaller sized design with smaller bollard pull figures (100 T).

Gdansk Shiprepair Yard Remontowa S.A. has signed contract with Tidewater Marine Inc. for delivery of 4 vessels during year 2005 (plus 2 in option). Now the order is firm for 6 units. Vessels are to be built in co-operation with companies of REMONTOWA Group.
When Tidewater Marine LLC of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA called in June 2002 for bids for three series (80, 100 and 120T bollard pull) of AHTS, Remontowa's American & Offshore Commercial Department, which is responsible for further development of offshore sector services, had to decide the best way of attitude. Analysis of technical conditions lead to the conclusion, that Customer's expectation is to have rather small vessels in size, but with comparatively large cargo capacities. In addition, the smallest bollard pulls vessel looked as limited water depth operator. Available on the market, typical AHTS projects did not fulfil those conditions, while famous, independent consultants offered only theoretically customised design, since they were providing rather geometrically converted hullforms and/or compilations of previous solutions. Basing on the above, it was decided to prepare own and new concept despite the call for the bids clearly stated that only proven design would be accepted. Finally, contract for newbuilding acquired, proved such Remontowa's attitude suitable and successful.

"Cost cutter" was the nickname given by Tidewater to the vessels, as the guiding principle of projects. It meant not only simple construction and lower construction cost, but also considerably lower recurring, operating costs. As long as demanded vessel's dimensions and bollard pull are observed, the only way to satisfy operating costs lowering expectations is to increase the speed, deadweight and cargo capacity, in terms of maintained propulsion power level. In such case the cost of cargo unit transfer is for sure lower, comparing to competing solutions. Bigger cargo capacity and increased number of voyages, within the same period of time and with comparable fuel consumption, should attract potential clients by offering an advantage in form of vessel's flexibility with her special hullform design, allowing operation either on shallow or deep water oil fields. Opportunity in offering of lower service rates would further sharp operator's competitive edge on extremely tough market at present.
Locally sited Naval Engineering and Design's team, chosen by Remontowa as authors of new concept, examined number of different propulsion systems, sophisticated solutions of ship's body forms, as well as vessel's layout, what resulted in more than thirty well-developed project versions. This would eventually help to fulfil specific needs of other, potential clients, as well as have resulted in compromised and well balanced solution, finally presented to the Owners.

Limited vessel's breadth and draft on one hand, with increased deadweight, bollard pull and speed on the other, seem to contradict strongly and form rather ambitious challenge. Therefore, local Ship Design and Research Centre (CTO) has been employed and extensive programme of tank testing was performed, to prove assumed parameters and to ensure satisfactory seakeeping characteristics as well.
Additional cost cutting gain, important for shipbuilders, is homeliness of applied body shape, which spares labour cost of the hull's erection.
Moreover, promising results of this type of ship, gave excellent hullform for shallow water platform supply vessel (PSV) or other OSV concept, where cargo capacity and vessel's speed may be further, significantly increased, comparing to AHTS results.

Copyright 2005 Remontowa