Subsea construction, installation vessel AMC Connector targets deepwater ops

Source: Aker Solutions

AMC Connector, a future new-build subsea installation and construction vessel from Aker Solutions, has finalised its vessel specs. With a total payload capacity of 9,000 tonnes of subsea power cables or umbilicals, the vessel will be well equipped to target the deepwater installation segment

AMC Connector - previously called Aker Connector - will be equipped with two turntables for high voltage power cables or subsea umbilicals: one 6 000 tonnes capacity on deck and another 3 000 tonnes capacity below deck. With a total product payload of 9 000 tonnes, AMC Connector will be able to take on highly complex and sizeable installation projects. 

At full payload the 157 x 32 metres ship will boost an impressive transit speed of 16 knots. This will make the vessel a highly competitive alternative for installation jobs in remote locations. 

In addition, the vessel's design enables her to operate safely and efficiently in higher waves than most other high-end construction vessels. AMC Connector will comfortably operate in significant wave height (Hsig) of 4-5 metres, which means that she will have an operating window at the leading edge for installation and construction vessels. 

"When she is delivered in the beginning of 2012, AMC Connector will be a fantastic asset to our customers around the world. The unique wave motion characteristics will enable longer installation seasons and increased project execution predictability," says Svein Haug, president of Aker Marine Contractors, who will operate the vessel. 

The vessel will be equipped with two heave-compensated offshore cranes - with 400 and 50 tonnes capacity respectively - that can operate down to 3 000 metres water depth. She will have two 3 000 metres capacity, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) onboard and can accommodate 140 people. 

A unique feature is the vessel's deck flexibility, which enables her to meet a wide range of service demands. Within some two days the on-deck modules can be removed from the deck, freeing up a total space of approximately 1 500 square metres. This will enable transport and installation of large spools and jumpers as well as subsea structures and manifolds. 

AMC Connector is built by STX Europe and will be outfitted at their yard at Søviknes, Norway. She will be ready for operations from Q1 2012. Subsea power cable provider ABB has already secured the vessel for installation campaigns during 2012 and 2013. 

The vessel will be owned 50/50 by Aker Solutions and Singapore-based Ezra Holdings Ltd (Ezra), which recently acquired 100 percent of the shares in Aker Solutions' subsidiary Aker Marine Contractors AS. As part of the agreement, Aker Solutions becomes a substantial shareholder in Ezra. The transaction is expected to be completed during Q1 2011. 

By becoming part of Ezra, Aker Marine Contractors will have access to a larger and rapidly growing fleet of installation vessels covering all IMR and SURF installation segments - including flexible and rigid pipelay with capacity up to 3 500 metres water depth - which will enable Ezra/Aker Marine Contractors to compete with the world's leading SURF contractors. 

Ezra operates in the offshore market under the EMAS brand name. EMAS is an integrated offshore support solutions provider for the oil and gas industry. The business was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Singapore.

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