April 17, 2008
Flotel conversion switched to Tyne
A former icebreaking cargo ship that was to have been converted into a DP3 flotel accommodation vessel at a shipyard in Alabama will now be transported to Britain's A&P Tyne Ltd. for the major part of the work.
The Tyne ship repairer has been awarded a UKP 30 million (about $59.3 million) contract for the job by the C&M Group of Aberdeen, Scotland, on behalf of the owners Silters.
The A&P Tyne statement says "some preparations have already taken place on the vessel in the U.S.A. The vessel is due to be brought to the Tyne by the heavy lift cargo vessel Fairstar Fjord" for the main part of the conversion.
The Ice Maiden 1 project was first announced with some fanfare at the OTC event in Houston in May 2007. At that time the vessel, the former Paardeberg, ex-Outeniqa, was berthed at a shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, and was renamed by U.K. Parliamentary Under Secretary for Energy Lord Truscott in a link-up with guests at a ceremony in Houston's Reliant Stadium.
At that time, C&M Group was talking about the converted vessel going on charter by the end of 2007. That didn't happen and late last year C&M hired Jim Eccles, a marine engineer with over 30 years experience, to project manage the major conversion.
In February of this year, C&M Managing Director Colin Angus said that the initial timescale for the conversion of the Ice Maiden 1 was over-ambitious and that, after a comprehensive review, C&M could announce that the vessel would be delivered by the end of 2008.
Ice Maiden 1 will be the first ice-class harsh weather accommodation vessel to be built in 25 years.
Originally commissioned by the Russian navy the vessel first entered service as a roll on, roll off tank carrier with ice breaker capability in 1991.
Once converted the Ice Maiden 1 will provide single berth accommodation with en-suite facilities and modern leisure and recreation facilities outfitted to a high standard for 399 personnel. With its high personnel capacity, monohull configuration and full DP3 station keeping capability the Ice Maiden 1 will be capable of operating all year round in harsh weather environments.
In addition to providing bridge linked accommodation, the Ice Maiden 1 will also offer craneage, an ability to transport cargo, working deck space and heated workshop areas for use in construction and maintenance support operations as well as a helideck satisfying the needs of the latest generation of helicopters for personnel movements and crew change purposes.
With the Ice Maiden 1's high transit speed and rapid mobilization capability without further intervention either from port or around different worksites the vessel is ideally suited to either long term construction or maintenance support operations.
The project will require the fitting of some 1,400 tonnes of new accommodation block steel work, accommodations for 399 people which will include all the necessary services to support the personnel to be carried.
A further 1,900 tonnes of steel work will be fabricated and fitted to form new decks and machinery spaces. Eight new generating sets will be fitted to power eight new thrusters giving the vessel full DP3 dynamic positioning capability.
An interesting design feature is the fact that the vessel will be the first of her type to be fully Ice Classed and will be capable of operating in conditions of minus 40 deg Celsius.
A&P Tyne says the contract will take 9 months to execute from the time of the vessel's arrival at the yard.