OCTOBER 15, 2013—The U.K.’s Osiris Hydrographic & Geophysical Projects, part of Bibby Marine Survey Services, has begun construction of a sister ship to the SWATH survey vessel Bibby Tethra.
To be called the Bibby Athena, the new 27.5m survey vessel is being built by Socarenam in its shipyard in Boulogne, France. The SWATH will take 15 months to construct and is expected to be launched in the winter of 2014. The vessel will mirror the capabilities of Bibby Tethra and build on its success, with a few modifications to reflect the company's development into shallow geotechnical sampling and more challenging offshore market.
Enhancements to the Bibby Athena will include an increased deck crane capacity of 10.87 tonnes and an improved internal layout. The addition of two forward Schottel pump jets and larger aft electric Schottel drive motors will provide exceptional DP1 capability and an increased generator size will provide 850kVa of electrical power. To maximize efficiency, Bibby Athena will be permanently mobilized with a dual-head multibeam system, greatly improving the productivity of bathymetric data acquisition and a water treatment facility will be added to extend offshore endurance. On the same theme of efficiency, a double drum main winch with two cable sizes will allow deployment of multiple systems without the requirement for remobilization. A larger online survey lab will improve the volume of data processing and initial QC that can take place on-board, reducing the amount of processing required in head office. Osiris Projects Managing Director Andy McLeay says the order for the Bibby Tethra is “quite a milestone” for the company. “The second vessel will build upon the success of Bibby Tethra and allow us to offer greater availability of this remarkably capable multi-role survey platform. The new vessel, Bibby Athena will provide even greater capability with a small number of key refinements which have evolved from operating Bibby Tethra for the past two and a half years."