JULY 28, 2016 — Damen Shipyards Group has announced its latest concept design: the Damen Decommissioning Series.
The vessel will specialize in three core areas of the oil and gas decommissioning sector: topside decommissioning, offshore platform removal, and subsea cleaning and removal.
The design is based on in-house research carried out at Damen by one of its undergraduate interns, Justin Rietveld, who is studying Maritime Technology at the Rotterdam Mainport University of Applied Sciences. His brief was to investigate the potential niche markets for new vessel designs in the oil and gas decommissioning sector.
"This research started off with the idea of developing a decommissioning vessel based on Damen's existing portfolio," says Mr. Rietveld. "However, we soon found out that this market needs more.
"For example, there are many different activities within the decommissioning sector. This vessel can support a vast number of those. We have developed a concept to cover the bigger part of this new and exciting market."
The vessel's monohull design has a split stern; a characteristic that will come into play during platform removal operations,
"This ship will be able to reverse up to a jacket, where it will be ballasted to sink below the platform," says Mr. Rietveld. "Upon deballasting, the vessel will rise up to pick up the platform."
Preliminary estimates of the vessel's capabilities indicate that it will be able to perform decommissioning of fixed platforms of up to 1,600 tonnes in weight, allowing it to cover a significant amount of global fixed platforms, including over half of those located in the North Sea.
To deliver maximum flexibility, the concept design includes modular add-ons.This will give it the versatility to undertake other roles when not busy with decommissioning contracts.
These modular additions to the existing design include the (temporary) installation of a crane or a helideck. Functionality can be further boosted with the addition of accommodation modules to increase personnel capacity
.Another option is the addition of a temporary platform to create a solid stern. The subsequent increase in deck capacity could be used for transporting and installing monopiles and foundations for the offshore wind industry.
"We initiated this project because we felt that we can make a difference in this sector – and it has certainly generated some significant ideas," says Lucas Zaat, Damen's Manager Design & Proposal Offshore & Transport. "The decommissioning market is close to our current activities. We are therefore planning to continue with this project and assign specialized personnel to implement it."