Photo: Gulf of Mexico; Image source: Pixabay - under the CC0 Creative Commons license

Seacor installs first hybrid power solution on Gulf of Mexico OSV

U.S. offshore vessel owner Seacor Marine has completed the installation of the first hybrid power solution on an offshore support vessel in the Gulf of Mexico.

Seacor said on Tuesday that it completed the upgrade of the Seacor Maya OSV to hybrid lithium battery power propulsion.

After a series of successful sea and failure mode effect analysis trials, the Seacor Maya was issued its Interim Class Certificate from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) with additional notation Battery-Li, the first ever ABS OSV to have this notation.

The Seacor Maya is currently operated by Mantenimiento Express Maritimo (MexMar), Seacor Marine’s joint venture in Mexico.

John Gellert, Seacor Marine’s CEO, said: “The successful installation of a hybrid power solution along with the first ever ABS OSV Battery-Li notation is a big milestone for our company.

“We have long believed that cutting-edge hybrid power technology has the potential to improve vessel efficiency while reducing fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 20 percent. Early indications from sea trials of Seacor Maya put us well within reach of this target and validate the success of our investment.

“The new hybrid lithium battery system will also help us improve safety, drive energy efficiencies, and reduce our overall environmental impact. As governments tighten emissions standards, this technology will be a key competitive differentiator, leaving us well placed to take advantage of an upturn in the market.”

The company contracted ABS, a global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries, in March 2018 to class the vessel as the first OSV in the Gulf of Mexico to operate using hybrid power.

Following the vessel’s successful modification to hybrid lithium battery power propulsion, ABS provided the additional Battery-Li notation for the Seacor Maya in May 2018.

The company added that it conducted the upgrade project on the vessel at Bollinger Shipyards in Morgan City, Louisiana. Sea trials of the vessel were conducted in mid-May 2018.

Seacor Marine also engaged ABS to provide the additional Battery-Li notation on three additional OSVs, the Seacor Azteca, Seacor Warrior, and the Seacor Viking. The vessels are expected to be upgraded to a similar battery system like the Seacor Maya with the upgrade expected to be completed by September 2018.

Seacor Marine said it would also install the technology onboard six vessels under construction at COSCO shipyard in Guangdong. The first two vessels are due for delivery by the end of 2018, with the remaining vessels set for delivery in 2020.

The lithium-ion-based Orca Energy Storage Systems (ESS) for all four vessels in the Gulf of Mexico was supplied by Corvus Energy while Kongsberg delivered the control, power monitoring, and dynamic positioning systems.

Corvus and Kongsberg are contracted for the remaining three vessels operated by MexMar as well.

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