Ulstein delivers latest Island Offshore subsea vessel

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JULY 8, 2014 — Norway’s Ulstein Verft has delivered the 130 m SX 121 design subsea newbuild Island Performer to Island Offshore. The flexible, state-of-the-art RLWI/IMR vessel will serve her first five years working for FTO in the Gulf of Mexico. FTO is a joint venture between FMC Technologies, Edison Chouest Offshore and Island Offshore.

“The vessel is customized to suit the scope of work in the FTO contract, in which RLWI (Riser-less Light Well Intervention) and IMR (Inspection/Maintenance/Repair) are the main tasks,” says Island Offshore Managing Director Håvard Ulstein. “She is able to perform operations at depths down to 3,000 m, and the contracted work starts at year’s end.”

Before starting work for FTO in the Gulf, the ship’s first assignment will be for the RogFast connection in Norway, in which the scope of work will be to investigate the sea bottom.”

 “A large intervention tower is placed over the 8 m by 8 m main moon pool. She is equipped with a 250-tonne AHC (active heave compensated) offshore crane with a below-deck winch, and carries two deep-sea work ROVs, one to be launched through a dedicated moon pool and the other from the starboard side,” explains Håvard Ulstein.


Island Performer is Ulstein’s next generation subsea vessel, with large accommodation, storage and lifting capacities. She meets the highest standards for station keeping, redundancy and dynamic positioning (DNV GL class notation DYNPOS AUTRO, equivalent to DP3). Additionally, operability in DYNPOS AUTR (DP2) operational mode is maximized due to the ‘Operation+’ feature with a three-split configuration on main machinery. This set-up allows the vessel to retain system integrity and to continue operations uninterruptedly even after a substantial single system failure.


A shelter deck extends all the way past the main moon pool and aft to the main crane. This increases the operational window for moon pool work and offers a shielded space for equipment. Arranged on the shelter deck is a multi-skidding system for handling 100-tonne skidding pallets. The design also includes a heavy-load cargo deck for transporting equipment for a multitude of operations and construction work.

Island Performer has been developed and built according to the latest international regulations in which safety and comfort are two key issues.

The vessel is equipped with resiliently mounted tunnel thrusters, and she carries the DNV GL class notation Comfort Class, COMF-V1, which ensures that noise and vibrations are kept at minimum.

SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) catalysts are installed for all engines. An ESD system (Emergency Shut Down system) is installed in order to automatically close down systems in case of a hydrocarbon leakage.

Island Performer has a crew capacity of 130, and in case of evacuation, each of the lifeboats on the starboard and port sides can accommodate everyone on board.

Built with the patented Ulstein X-Bow, the vessel has reduced speed loss in head seas, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and emissions to air.

”Island Offshore has previous experience with this design,” says Håvard Ulstein. “The two SX121 designed vessels already in our fleet have proved to be very successful to us. We are certain that the Island Performer will achieve good results in complex deep water operations in the Gulf of Mexico.”  

Ulstein GrouCEO Gunvor Ulstein says: “The three contracting companies combined have extensive competence in the advanced subsea segment. Together, we have developed a solution which is particularly adapted to both RLWI and IMR work, and we strongly believe that the Island Performer will prove her value in the years to come.”

SX121 DESIGN    
Length over all approx.    130.0 m
Breadth molded    25.0 m
Deadweight w/tower mounted    7.300 tonnes
Trial speed    15.25 knots
Accommodations    130 persons
Deck skidding system located on shelter deck    100 tonnes unrestricted load
Main moon pool    8.0 m x 8.0 m
ROV moon pool     4.9 m x 4.9 m
300 t SWL Module Handling/Intervention Tower
250 t Offshore Pedestal Crane (AHC) w/ main winch below deck
Dynamic Positioning System DNV AUTRO (IMO Class III / DP3)
Integrated bridge system
Electric equipment, Ulstein delivery: Switchboards, ULSTEIN COM® communication system
ULSTEIN X-BOW® hull line design

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