March 8 - Hovertrans Solutions Pte Ltd. (Hovertrans Solutions) says it will be constructing a 50-tonne payload hoverbarge which will be ready for charter from the 3rd quarter of 2011.

Measuring 34 m x 17 m, the modular hoverbarge will have a hover height of 1.8 m and will be built by ST Marine. It can be self propelled by adding two modular propulsion units.

Hovertrans Solutions is a subsidiary of ST Marine and a leading designer and manufacturer of hoverbarges for heavy lift in difficult terrain in the global oil and gas, and specialist transportation industries, formed with experienced partners with 40 years of design and construction experience in the Hoverbarge marketplace.

Hovertrans says that this amphibious hoverbarge is capable of carrying cargo or equipment over swamps, wetlands, tundra, ice and shallow water, opening up exciting possibilities for oil and gas exploration and remote field development adding that a significant advantage of the hoverbarge is that it only exerts 1psi ground pressure whilst on hover, thus minimising any environmental footprint and in many cases will be the only platform that can be used for the tasks.

Manufactured from cold weather steel and with a specialised skirt system, this hoverbarge can operate in temperatures ranging from 40 to -40 degrees celsius. The hoverbarge is designed using a modular concept and involves connection of ISO container sized pontoon units and a skirt frame. This enables the hoverbarge to be shipped around the world using most conventional shipping, thus keeping transportation costs down for customers. Re-assembly and commissioning of the hoverbarge can be completed within a day. This modularity also opens up access for inland operations that require the use of a hoverbarge