Rescue vessel to undergo makeover to get ready for renewables

Rescue vessel to undergo makeover to get ready for renewables

Scottish subsea specialist Sulmara is set to repurpose an emergency response rescue vessel (ERRV) into a multi-purpose support vessel (MPSV) with the addition of equipment to suit the renewables market.

Source: Sulmara

Sulmara has signed a three-year deal with Atlantic Offshore to charter the 67-meter DPII multi-purpose support vessel Ocean Marlin and will refit the vessel to feature survey equipment, a subsea crane with active heave compensation, and extra bed space.

The multi-million-pound upgrade also includes the installation of both WROV and ObsROV vehicles to complement a 34T AHC crane and a full survey and positioning spread, as well as further engineering upgrades to support the deployment of a wide range of fixed and towed equipment.

Built in 2014, Ocean Marlin is 2298GT and has ample deck space for a range of mobilized equipment and accommodation for 28 personnel.

The vessel is likely to commence activities for Sulmara in late Q1 2024 and will initially operate on projects across Europe.

Sulmara’s CEO Kevin McBarron said the decision to go down the unconventional yet pragmatic route of repurposing an ERRV aligns with the company’s ambitions to deliver work for clients that has as little an impact on the environment as possible.

“This deal is a step change for Sulmara as we continue to challenge conventions and find new ways of working to increase our capabilities and further support our clients in their projects and achieving their Net Zero targets,” McBarron said.

“Sulmara has proven the capabilities of uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) for certain offshore survey tasks and our vision is for their use to be widespread in the industry, but we recognise the current limitations of the technology.”

McBarron noted that USVs are not the answer to all client needs and there is still a place for conventional ships. Sulmara had opportunities to charter older, less efficient vessels, but for its first long-term charter vessel, that did not align with the company vision.

The Glasgow-headquartered company will track the efficiency of the vessel throughout 2024, comparing emissions and fuel burn to existing and older assets in an effort to highlight the sustainability benefits of its solutions.

“We want the industry to reassess how it approaches all aspects of a project to maximise the potential environmental and commercial benefits. This design of ERRV is known for its superior seakeeping abilities in adverse weather conditions, further maximising operational windows and reducing the duration of offshore projects,” McBarron said.

“This is a big part of why we are refitting the Ocean Marlin, and we look forward to bringing this advanced vessel type to the renewables market.”

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Sulmara recently signed a master service agreement with Asso.subsea which will see the companies collaborate on work across the world, including in North Sea, Baltic, and Mediterranean operations.

That agreement followed news about the company placing an order worth $1.6 million with Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) for several of its Wave Adaptive Modular Vessels (WAM-V) USVs and also opened a new office in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, to help cope with increased client demand.

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