Ulstein converts Aegir into heavy-lift vessel

ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands – Ulstein has converted Heerema Marine ContractorsAegir from a deepwater construction into a heavy-lift vessel.

After Heerema’s strategic reposition on its core business of heavy lift, decommissioning, and renewables in 2018, Ulstein was contracted to provide design and engineering services for the conversion.

The Aegir joined the company’s fleet in 2013 as a deepwater construction vessel featuring j-lay and reel-Lay capabilities via a large moonpool. Equipped with a large heavy-lift crane, she was said to be the first vessel to use a portable reel system, saving time that is typically taken by sailing back and forth to a shore base.

The Aegir’s 4,000-ton main crane and the fact that her hull design is based on Ulstein’s SOC 5000 heavy lift vessel design, is a key benefit in this conversion. Nevertheless, innovative solutions and smart engineering work is needed to make the vessel into an efficient asset for the new markets that Heerema is targeting.

Ko Stroo, project manager/lead naval architect at Ulstein, said: “It is not just simply removing the tower and lay equipment that turns Aegir into a heavy-lift vessel. The obvious (but not necessarily the easiest) areas of attention are the closing of the large moonpool, creating a flush main deck, and modifications to marine, ballast and venting systems.

“For the latter, it is checked what the impact is of applying Ulstein’s patent pending venting solution, as it is originally developed for newbuilding projects. Also, extensive probabilistic stability calculations and a full FEM analysis are made in relation to the new modes of operation.

“Furthermore, Ulstein is also performing CFD analysis to assess if hull optimization could reduce fuel consumption and emissions for the new operational profile of the vessel.”

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