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The Offshore Industry's "Swiss Army Knife"

Published Jun 12, 2015 5:12 AM by Wendy Laursen

NAM and Shell UK have combined forces with Royal Wagenborg and shipyard Royal Niestern Sander to build the world’s first maintenance support walk to work vessel. This documentary about its construction has just been released.

The 80m Walk to Work vessel Kroonborg is a new type of offshore maintenance support vessel, designed to provide the offshore industry with multifunctional support. 

The vessel features a motion compensated Ampelmann gangway system, the world’s first heave compensated Barge Master T40 crane, a DP2 system, Voith Schneider Propellers and bow thrusters, a chemical supply and cold start-up unit, 500m2 of free deck space, a fast rescue craft, daughter craft and accommodation for 60 people.

One by one, these features are pretty common for an offshore vessel, but in combination – like a Swiss knife – the result is a unique vessel the world has not seen before, enabling offshore activities to be executed more safely and efficiently.

Kroonborg is also the first offshore vessel to be fueled by gas-to-liquid (GTL) fuel – a liquid fuel derived from natural gas that produces fewer emissions than conventional fuel.

The vessel will be used to support maintenance activities on platforms in the Southern North Sea. Many of NAM and Shell UK’s oil and gas platforms in the North Sea don’t have a permanent crew or helicopter pad, so Kroonborg will negate the need for frequent journeys by ship to and from platforms for maintenance work. It is anticipated to reduce the need for up to 600 helicopter flights a year.

The vessel is capable of transporting all the chemicals needed for intervention and restart work on a platform. It offers accommodation for 60 people, including two crews of 20 technicians. With this, crews will work over two consecutive weeks on multiple platforms.

Royal Wagenborg will support the offshore activities of Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij and Shell UK over the next 10 years.