May 6 - Royal Boskalis Westminster nv (Boskalis) announced at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston that it has started a study into a new ultra large V-class heavy marine transport vessel (HTV).

The Dockwise Vanguard, which came into service early in 2013, is already the world's largest V-class HTV with a carrying capacity of 117,000 tonnes and deck space of 270 m x 70 m, said Boskalis.

"The Dockwise Vanguard has been well received in the market," said Peter Berdowski, ceo of Boskalis. "Our decision to start this study is a reflection of this and we see many more exciting opportunities in the FPSO and FLNG markets."

The study addresses both the market opportunities and technical requirements for the new vessel. Boskalis will engage with clients to understand how this vessel can accommodate the expected growth in the FPSO and FLNG markets, in addition to the ocean-going transport of outsized heavy marine structures.

Compared to the Dockwise Vanguard, the new vessel will be larger in terms of length, breadth and carrying capacity, but will also have a bowless design and asymmetric accommodation.

The addition of another V-class vessel to the current fleet of semi-submersible HTVs will allow Boskalis to further expand its leading market position in the offshore energy industry, said the company.