‘World Sapphire’ christened by Damen
The official christening of the ‘World Sapphire’ marks the completion of a six-ship order whereby Damen Shipyards has delivered six Platform Supply Vessels to Norwegian company World Wide Supply AS in just six months.
The Damen PSV 3300 features a radical design rethink, with a wave piercing bow, slender hull lines and diesel electric propulsion with azimuth stern drives, combining to optimise seakeeping and fuel efficiency. The 80.1 m, 1500-tonne deck capacity vessel also has DP2 capability.
As the sixth vessel is named, Jostein Sætrenes, Chief Executive Officer of World Wide Supply AS, which was established in late 2010, comments: “Damen was able to deliver six vessels between June 28 – December 17, which is impressive.”
Sætrenes is pleased to see that all six vessels will be under contract during the second quarter, four of them being on long-term charters to Brazilian energy giant Petrobras. He reflects on the completion of the six-vessel series and why the new offshore company chose Damen Shipyards as a partner.
All six vessels under charter
“We wanted a vessel for today and for the future. We gave the designers and engineers involved in the project the mandate that the vessels should have a modern look but embody proven technology. The new PSV had to be able to realise our expectations for the offshore market of the future.
“Damen’s technical people and engineers worked together with our guys to develop a very modern vessel but with proven and tested technology. Crucially, they considered the hydrodynamics and the new vessel had to be more fuel efficient, cost efficient and environmentally friendly.”
The shape of the hull came under scrutiny to improve seakeeping behaviour and to optimise crew comfort. “It was important for us to have a comfortable vessel. For the crew this is their home and working space for half of the year.”
Seakeeping and comfort crucial
Two of the vessels – the World Diamond and Pearl – are currently working for GDF Suez out of Aberdeen in the North Sea and four will be on a long-term charter for Petrobras from mid-June. The Petrobras contract was signed in April 2013 and the GDF agreement in December. “Feedback from the crew and customers has been very positive,” he says.
Although WWS was established in 2010 it really spent a year designing and perfecting the vessels. But when it took the bold decision to invest in the new PSV series, Mr Sætrenes admits it was largely based on ‘pure speculation or perhaps, calculated speculation’. “We had no contracts in place but felt very sure that these vessels would be awarded contracts and so far, that has been the case.
“We got the vessel we wanted, it is a good vessel in its segment.” The new PSV has also taken Damen Shipyards into the Norwegian offshore market.
He adds: “We have a solid partnership. Damen offered a competitive price but also it was willing to work with a start up company, being flexible with the financing, which was necessary for such a newbuild programme.”
“At the same time I think we can say that we offered Damen some technical expertise by hiring in such know-how from the Norwegian industry; which we still believe is the leading environment for ship design and engineering. The combination of the expertise from Norway and Damen has led to the creation of a great product.”
For the future WWS recognises that six ships is not a fleet, he says, but it is a start. WWS will concentrate on integrating the vessels into the market but it does not rule out the addition of more vessels in the future. However, this is not on the agenda at the moment.
As well as the four WWS vessels, which are currently undergoing a ‘Petrobras conversion’ at Damen Shipyards in the Netherlands, Damen has another four under construction. One will de delivered in March and one in September and two will be delivered to Swiss company PROMAR in 2015.