ABS to class first hybrid-powered OSV in Gulf of Mexico

Offshore classification organization ABS has been selected by Seacor Marine to class the first offshore support vessel (OSV) in the Gulf of Mexico to operate using hybrid power.

Seacor requested the Battery-Li notation for its Seacor Maya OSV currently operated by Mantenimiento Express Maritimo (Mexmar), Seacor Marine’s joint venture in Mexico.

ABS said on Monday that the OSV was being upgraded to use lithium battery power, with modifications expected to be completed in May 2018.

ABS’ director for offshore support vessels, Wei Huang, said: “ABS recognizes the economic and environmental benefits of hybrid-powered vessels to reduce fuel consumption and emissions in the marine and offshore industries. This milestone reinforces our safety mission and promotes the development of alternative power applications and energy storage systems that optimize efficiencies.”

Seacor’s manager of engineering, Tim Clerc, added: “The hybrid power solution on the Seacor Maya has the potential to significantly reduce fuel consumption—by as much as 20 percent. To help Seacor realize the benefit of using cutting-edge hybrid power, we partnered with ABS, to class the lithium battery system, to help validate its reliability. The operational savings gained from a hybrid power solution will also reduce emissions and facilitate our compliance with strict environmental regulations.”

Seacor also engaged ABS to provide the optional Battery-Li notation, on three additional OSVs operated by Mexmar, planned to upgrade to a similar battery system.

The conversion to hybrid power for the Seacor Azteca, Seacor Warrior, and Seacor Viking is expected to be completed in July 2018.

The lithium-ion-based energy storage systems (ESS) for all four vessels was agreed to be supplied by Corvus Energy while Kongsberg was contracted to deliver technology upgrades for the Azteca, Warrior, and Viking OSVs in late January. Under the contract, Kongsberg will deliver and install a hybrid power and DP upgrade on the vessels.

Kongsberg was also contracted for the same work on the Seacor Maya in September 2017.