On 4 February 2016 the DP2 cable installation vessel Maersk Connector was handed over from Damen Shipyards Group to Maersk Supply Service. The vessel is going directly on a long-term charter for subsea services provider DeepOcean. The on-time, on-budget delivery marks the successful cooperation between Damen, Maersk Supply Service and DeepOcean. Based on Damen’s DOC 8500 platform, the vessel has been customised to meet the challenges of reducing offshore renewables costs.
“We’ve already been awarded three UK and North Sea contracts for Maersk Connector, so we’re very satisfied,” reports DeepOcean Commercial Director Pierre Boyde. “The working relationship has been productive and Damen has delivered a state-of-the-art cable installation vessel. Maersk Connector is fine-tuned around DeepOcean’s 20 years’ experience of installing and trenching more than 1,000 kilometres of power cable and backed up with Maersk Supply Service’s long pedigree of superior marine operations.”
Owned and operated by Maersk Supply Service, the vessel is the latest addition to the 50-plus strong Maersk offshore support vessel fleet. Søren Karas, Chief Commercial Officer of Maersk Supply Service, praises the constructive cooperation between the three parties.
“Maersk Connector is the result of a successful tri-party cooperation between a quality yard, an experienced subsea service provider and a leading vessel owner and marine operator. Throughout the process there was close communication between all parties, focused on finding solutions. Maersk Supply Service is very happy with the outcome resulting from this cooperation; the vessel has been delivered on time, on budget and the quality is good. We are excited to embark on the long term cooperation with DeepOcean supporting their subsea operations.”
So far the vessel has been contracted to undertake marine works for three DeepOcean contracts: the Walney Extension Project, the Nemo Link® interconnector and the Bligh Bank Phase II Offshore Wind Farm. In combination with new survey, trenching and installation equipment, much of which has been awarded to UK manufacturers,Maersk Connector enables DeepOcean to deliver more efficient, cost-effective and safer cable installation.
Contributing to production efficiency, the vessel is capable of grounding out with its seven points mooring system. This eliminates the need for a separate shallow water cable lay vessel and minimises the number of cable joints required. The bespoke 7000-tonne carousel system accommodates bundled installation of high specification cables with no requirement to coil the cables.
Proven Damen platform for offshore transport and installation work
Built at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania, Maersk Connector is the second of a new generation of cable-laying vessels based on the proven Damen Offshore Carrier (DOC) platform. Developed as a flexible platform for both transport and installation work offshore, the DOC 8500 is 138 metres in length and has a beam of 27.5 metres.