March 9 - Antwerp-based, Scaldis Salvage & Marine Contractors NV has ordered a powerful, self-propelled DP2 crane ship from Korean shipbuilders STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. The vessel will be built in STX's shipyard in Dalian and finished in Xiamen, China

The contract with STX Offshore & Shipbuilding for the construction and delivery of the ship was signed at the end of February 2012 and HLPFI understands that the design was developed in-house on the basis of the extensive experience that Scaldis has accumulated hoisting heavy objects in challenging offshore conditions. The keel is scheduled to be laid in February 2013, with delivery scheduled for spring 2014.

Scaldis says that it is ordering this ship with one eye on the further support and expansion of its services, including the installation of offshore infrastructure and decommissioning activities in deep water for the oil and gas industry and the installation of offshore wind farms. In addition, Scaldis reports that the ship can also be used for any type of heavy lifting work in challenging situations, such as the construction of bridge components and clearing shipwrecks.

The provision of a helipad in combination with accommodation for 78 people means Scaldis is capable of providing a varied range of additional services, it says.

A few specific characteristics make this new crane ship unique in its field, claims Scaldis. It has two Huisman cranes each with a lifting capacity of 2,000 tonnes, based on a design by Vuyk Engineering Rotterdam. The ship also has extra carrying capacity of 3,000 tonnes.

The cranes can be moved by 25 m on the ship which allows the deck to be used to transport and then relocate cargo at a later stage.

The ship and the cranes are an integrated design which allows the maximum load to be hoisted in significant wave heights of up to 1.5 m. In these circumstances, the freeboard is not less than 3 m anywhere on the vessel. In standby or transport modes, significant wave height can be as much as 7.0 m.

It is also worth noting that the maximum load can be lifted in water depths of just 5.0 m.

The four azimuth thrusters and the DP2 system allow installation work to be conducted in deeper water without the use of anchors. This guarantees flexibility and efficiency and also means that work can be carried out in zones where many pipelines and cables already lie on the seabed, says Scaldis.

Importantly for Scaldis, a powerful and rapid ballast system can follow the hoisting operation exactly, allowing jobs to be completed quickly and continuously.

The ship will be equipped with a so-called 'moonpool' for the purposes of operating a separate ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) for inspecting and supervising installation work on the seabed. Finally, the presence of heavy fenders allows containers to be loaded/unloaded at sea.

Scaldis is an offshore marine contractor specializing in offshore transportation and installation works. Its core expertise is in marine heavy lifting, although it supports many other marine related projects with its fleet; including: Civil construction work; Oil and Gas projects; Renewables/environmental developments; Decommissioning/deconstruction activities; Heavy lifting involved in salvage-related operations.