DP offloading vessel ready for sea trials

Construction of Remora’s HiLoad DP mobile offshore loading unit is nearing completion at the Aibel yard in Haugesund, western Norway.

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Construction of Remora’s HiLoad DP mobile offshore loading unit is nearing completion at the Aibel yard in Haugesund, western Norway. Remora expects to take delivery of the unit shortly, followed by a series of sea trials in readiness for a first offshore deployment.

HiLoad DP is an offshore loading vessel with dynamic positioning capability which attaches itself to the bottom of the loading tanker and handles station-keeping duties for both vessels during loading. Oil is transported from a storage facility, such as an FPSO or FSU, through a hose which can be attached permanently to the HiLoad unit.

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New technology for offshore loading – Remora’s HiLoad DP unit.
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The system, which has no water depth limitations, dispenses with the need for tugs, line-boats, and tanker mooring systems, and can operate around the clock. Model tests have shown that it can dock to a tanker in significant wave heights of up to 4.5 m (14.7 ft).

In May, the upper tower section, which includes the bridge, was mated with the lower towers and pontoon base. The lift was performed by a floating crane within a drydock at the yard. The completed HiLoad vessel stands 58 m (190 ft) high and will weigh around 4,000 metric tons (4,409 tons) when complete.

During the test program, Remora plans to lay particular emphasis on commissioning the DP system, and ballast systems. When attaching to the loading tanker, the unit ballasts down to allow the pontoon to be maneuvered beneath the tanker hull. It is then deballasted to raise the pontoon into contact with the hull, where it secures itself by means of a friction attachment system.

The DP-2 system, comprising three thrusters powered by three diesel engines generating a total 11,000 hp (8.2 MW), then takes over station-keeping, which includes allowing the tanker to weathervane through 360º. It is powerful enough to do this for tankers up to VLCC size, Remora says.

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