Photo: Groupe Bourbon

April 12, 2005

Coast protection vessel Abeille Bourbon enters service

Abeille Bourbon, which arrived in Brest, France on April, 8, is the first of two identical UT515 coast protection vessels designed and equipped by Rolls-Royce.

With twin independent winches, offering 200 tonnes of pull, and two 1600-metre towlines, the Abeille Bourbon is equipped to assist and if necessary take in tow any type of vessel in difficulty--notably the largest tankers, dangerous goods carriers and the most recent containerships--so as to prevent the dangers of a shipwreck or an ecological disaster.

Les Abeilles International, part of Groupe Bourbon, will operate the new UT 515 design vessels on long term charter to the French navy.

Abeille Bourbon was built by Myklebust Verft (part of the Kleven Maritime Group) on the west coast of Norway, and the hull was fabricated in Poland.

The sister vessel, Abeille Liberte, is scheduled for delivery later this year.

The ships will be stationed at strategic locations on the French coastline, one in Brest, the other in Cherbourg.

The UT 515 design vessels are multipurpose salvage tug, coastguard and standby vessels. Principal roles will include assistance to vessels at sea, deep sea towing, salvage of vessels in distress, fire and flooding control and anti-pollution activity.

On trials, Abeille Bourbon achieved a bollard pull of just over 201 tonnes was achieved, together with a speed of 19.8 knots at maximum continuous engine rating.

Abeille Bourbon is 80 m long, and has a beam of 16.5 m and a service draft of around 6 m.

Two Kamewa Ulstein CP propellers in nozzles are powered by four medium speed diesels producing a total of 16,000 kW. Renk combining gearboxes with power take-offs for the shaft generators were bought in and supplied by Rolls-Royce as part of the equipment package.

For steering and maneuvering there are two Rolls-Royce classic rudders with independent Tenfjord steering gear. Two Kamewa Ulstein TT 2200 tunnel thrusters are located at the bow, each rated at 883 kW. There are two smaller tunnel thrusters type TT1650 of 515kW located in the skeg aft. The system is controlled and monitored by a UMAS V system.

On deck, Abeille Bourbon is essentially laid out as a deep sea towing and salvage tug. The main towing winch is a Rauma Brattvaag two drum hydraulic unit. It has a 250 tonne pull on the first layer and can hold 500 tonnes on the brake. Each winch drum can hold 1600 m of 80 mm wire rope. Two low pressure hydraulic motors power the winch and each of these has three chambers. By altering the number of motors and chambers under pressure, the line hauling and paying out speeds can be varied within wide limits.

Winch wires are led over a towing arch across the aft deck and below the arch is a deck house containing four powered rope reels. Towing pins and shark jaws are located on the stern bulwarks, which are rounded over to give a clean lead for the tow wires. Also located on the aft deck are two Rauma Brattvaag capstans and a tugger winch. Up to 300 tonnes of cargo or equipment can be carried out the aft deck, which has an area of 350 sq.m. A Hydramarine crane rated at 23 t/11 m serves the working deck and there is another crane of the same manufacture further forward for handling stores and provision.

Electrical requirements are handled by two shaft generators driven by power take-offs from the main gearboxes and each is rated at 2,400 kVA. These are supplemented by three 500 kW auxiliary generators, one of which is in an acoustic enclosure for harbor use. There is also a 164 kW emergency generator.

External fire fighting to FiFi II standard is provided. There are three monitors on the upper platform, two of which can handle foam. A total of 7,200 cu.m/h of water can be supplied by two Kvaerner fire fighting pumps driven by Kumera step-up gears from the forward end of the two inner engines.

A specially designed hull was developed for these vessels, having a bulbous bow and relatively v-shaped aft sections. The superstructure is located close to amidships, helping to reduce motions in the accommodations, and a passive roll reduction tank system is installed.

Accommodations are provided for a total of 25 people, spread over four decks. At main deck level are the crew and officers' messes and a hospital with a four berth sick bay alongside it.

On A-deck is the recreation room and a block of two berth and four berth cabins. Here also is the salvage operations control room. On B-deck above are single berth cabins with facilities and at C-deck level are the suites for the master and chief engineer, the officers' lounge and the ship's office.

The wheelhouse is arranged to suit various operations. The forward facing console has a single chair moving side to side on rails and some of the instruments in an overhead display. To starboard is a free standing console mainly dedicated to safety systems and communications. The aft control station overlooking the working deck has three consoles with two chairs sliding fore and aft on rails between them. Maneuvering controls are also available at stations on each bridge wing and the casing for the exhaust uptakes and other services occupies part of the port side of the wheelhouse.

Large store spaces for salvage equipment are provided either side of the main winch house, in the forward end of the aft deckhouse and in the hold. Two 20 ft equipment containers can also be located on deck, one on either side of the hatch.

Abeille Bourbon carries a selection of rescue craft. There are two MOB boats of the Springer 741 design under single point Hydramarine davits, plus an inflatable with an outboard motor.

There are 32 vessels of UT-Design in the Groupe Bourbon fleet at present and other vessels are under construction.

Main particulars--UT 515 Abeille Bourbon
Length OA: 80.00 m
Breadth mld: 16.50 m
Depth main deck: 8.00 m
Draft, service: 6.00m
Power: 16,000 kW
Bollard pull: 201 tonnes
Speed: 19.8 knots
Class: Bureau Veritas 1 3/3 * Hull* MACH, Tug/salvage tug, Unrestricted navigation, AUT, UMS, Firefighting 2, Dynapos AM/AT

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