DISCOVER Magazine #7

Murjan Al Sharq Marine Contracting

Published in category: Dredging & Marine Contracting
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Abdullah Natheer Abdullah Natheer
Managing Director
Murjan Al Sharq Marine Contracting
Chris Clark Chris Clark
Business Development Director
Murjan Al Sharq Marine Contracting

 

Multiple vessels working as a team

Based in Saudi Arabia, Murjan Al Sharq Marine Contracting (MSMC) is a marine service company specializing in construction and maintenance, dredging, diving and subsea services. Considering that all but one of the MSMC fleet is a Damen vessel, it can be said that the relationship between the two companies over recent years has been a productive one.

MSMC Managing Director Abdullah Natheer points to the support that the company receives from Damen as a significant reason for this strong working bond: “They give us access to their engineering and technical team – people who really know what they’re talking about when it comes to designing vessels for actual projects, this results in smooth execution of the work for our clients.” One of MSMC’s recent contracts – and a trio of Damen vessels purchased to complete it – illustrates this collaboration.

multi_cat_at_work

Three vessels, one pipeline

The contract in question is an oil pipeline trenching and installation project. “We are dredging a 5 kilometre trench and installing a new trunk line to tie in wells that have been recently upgraded. After that we have a pipe pull, followed by backfill operations,” explains MSMC Business Development Director Chris Clark. “The overall aim of the project is to improve the efficiency of old wells.”

In Q4 2018 MSMC took delivery of three Damen vessels to complete the contract: a Stan Tug 1606, a Shoalbuster 2509, and a Stan Pontoon 4512 equipped with a Damen DOP Pump. For the first kilometre of the trench, MSMC will mobilise a Multi Cat 1908 and DOP 250 purchased from Damen in 2017. The remaining 4 kilometres of trench will be dredged by the new Stan Pontoon, supported by the new Stan Tug and the new Shoalbuster.

 

Engineering support

The project is complex in numerous ways. First of all, operational water depth ranges from 0 metres at the shore to only 7 metres at the deepest point. Furthermore, geotechnical conditions are variable.

This diversity in project conditions – and consequent vessel requirements – called for some precise cooperation. “We worked closely with Damen’s engineers in the Netherlands and at Albwardy Damen [the construction shipyard] to customise the Pontoon specifically for this job,” says Mr Clark, confirming Mr Natheer’s comments regarding Damen’s engineering support.

The solution to tackle the diverse working conditions was to equip the Stan Pontoon 4512 to be as versatile as possible. First to catch the eye are the 170-tonne Heila and the 100-tonne Liebherr cranes. “For trenching, we can work as a backhoe dredger, or use the DOP in various configurations. And then for backfilling operations we have a mass flow excavator,” continues Mr Clark.

Maximising uptime

Depending on the conditions and client requirements, MSMC can use a four-point mooring system in addition to its three hydraulically-driven 18-metre long spud poles for mooring. This is as well as the sizeable deck space offered by the 45-metre long, 12-metre wide vessel. This provides a hefty 515m2 space for day and night accommodation, workshop and control room facilities.

The versatility and modular capacity of the Pontoon means that we will get full use of it by changing its capabilities. That’s the main idea – increasing the bottom line for our client.

While it could be said that MSMC’s new Stan Pontoon is set to play the starring role in the company’s latest contract, it must also be noted that it will be backed up by two vessels that are more than capable of putting in a solid supporting role. With its 2.21 metre draught, the Stan Tug 1606 will provide support in the shallowest waters. The Shoalbuster 2509 will be deployed for tasks further from the coast; for which its 30-tonne bollard pull will be invaluable during pipe pulling operations.

Most vessels with a 2-metre draught are not going to give you 30 tonnes of bollard pull. But that is the unique thing about the Shoalbuster, it can maintain its bollard pull even in shallow waters – it’s a remarkable feat.

Handover ceremony

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