OCTOBER 5, 2012—Brazil shipyard Wilson, Sons is the midst of constructing six Platform Supply Vessels under license based on Damen’s PSV 4500 design for Wilson Sons Ultratug Offshore (WSUT). Two PSVs have been recently delivered, with the others due in 2013.
Damen and Wilson have enjoyed a business relationship for 20 years and the new PSVs will be supplied to WSUT, a joint venture between Brazilian operator Wilson, Sons and the Chilean Ultratug group for long term charter to state-owned oil company Petrobras. To date Wilson, Sons has built 16 Damen PSVs, all for its own fleet.
As one of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, Brazil is very much an expanding market and particularly the offshore sector is demonstrating exceptionally strong growth. Local manufacturing is a key factor and the service through Damen Technical Cooperation (offering ships in kit form for completion locally) ensures the shipbuilder complies with the 60% local content threshold imposed by the government.
Santos-based Wilson, Sons is the largest operator of harbor tugs in Brazil and already has a large fleet of Damen vessels comprising Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) tugs and Platform Supply Vessels (PSV).
The Damen 4500 PSVs will each have a deadweight of 4,500 tons, an overall length of 87 m, beam of 16 m and maximum draft of 6.19 m, providing a large deck area amounting to 840 m². A diesel-electric propulsion system comprising four Caterpillar 3512C generator sets, each of 1,570 kW at 1,800 rev/min, power two Rolls-Royce azimuth thrusters of 2,500 kW. Fixed-pitch propellers of 2,800 mm diameter, with nozzle, deliver a speed of 13 knots (at 5 m draft). A Caterpillar C9 genset of 238 ekW at 1,800 rpm is for emergency use. Twin bow thrusters ensure good maneuverability and the vessel has a dynamic positioning DP2 classification. There is accommodation for 14 crew and up to six passengers.
Currently Damen is engaged in the design of a new range of PSVs. Based on operational studies, feedback and questionnaires from crew and operators of the Damen PSV 3000, 4500 and other non-Damen PSVs operating in the area, analyses are made to refine the specifications of the new design.
The new Damen PSV range will soon cover five models, the 3300 (the number relates to the vessels’ deadweight), the smaller 1600 and 2500 and the larger 4000 and 5000, which are currently being designed. Together with Wilson, Sons, Damen is developing several other vessel types for the Brazilian offshore market, such as Anchor Handlers, ROV Support Vessels and Well-stimulation Vessels.