Subsea 7 firms up reel-lay vessel order with Royal IHC

Following a letter of intent in September, Royal IHC and Subsea 7 have signed a contract for the design and build of a new reel lay vessel, which will be capable of installing complex rigid flowlines including pipe-in-pipe systems. 

IHC said on Monday that, in close cooperation with Subsea 7, it had incorporated several innovative features to make this the most technologically advanced vessel to date.

Upon signing the letter of intent back in September, Subsea 7 noted that the cost, excluding capitalized interest, was expected to be below $300 million.

“The vessel’s compact dimensions are facilitated by the creative positioning of its three engine rooms and main reel, efficient use of the superstructure, and low-profile pipelay ramp. The smart use of space opens a large aft working deck, whilst the optimized mass distribution minimizes the ballast water requirement,” said Royal IHC.

Further according to Royal IHC’s Monday statement, the design of the reel lay system focuses on operational efficiency and flexibility, alongside crew safety and the twin tensioner pipelay ramp tilts to allow pipeline installation from shallow waters to depths of up to 3000m. The multi-level workstation optimizes the efficiency of operations in and around the firing line, whilst a fixed auxiliary reel, recessed into the main deck, gives payload flexibility, the company added.

Royal IHC has delivered a total of eight vessels to Subsea 7 in the course of their longstanding relationship. This new reel lay vessel will be the first to be equipped with a pipe lay system, also designed, engineered and built by IHC. Delivery of the vessel is planned for early 2020.

Dave Vander Heyde, CEO Royal IHC, said: “We are very proud of the confidence that Subsea 7 has placed in IHC. Our integrated approach to vessel design will give Subsea 7 an industry leading asset that sets a new standard in offshore pipe lay. Based on the ratio between top  pipe tension and payload to displacement, this will be one of the most cost effective vessels to enter the market.”