DISCOVER Magazine #7

Jumbo goes cold, harsh and deep…

Published in category: Offshore Wind
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Dutch heavy lift and transport specialist Jumbo is preparing for a cold, harsh and deep offshore future.

Currently the company has a new generation of vessels under construction which are designed to operate in the coldest and harshest climate in the world. Jumbo’s new K-class Heavy Lift Vessels have an ice-classification, allowing it to operate at extreme latitudes, which the company believes will be important for the future of the marine transport sector.

“The K 3000 is designed for unique heavy lift performance and to create a maximum season in the Northern and Arctic regions,” explains Roddy Lafontaine, manager for commerce and offshore at Jumbo.

One K-Class vessel has already been launched from Croatia’s Brodosplit shipyard in Split in September 2013. Lafontaine believes the K-Class will find its own unique niche in marine heavy transport – as the company has done for the last 45 years.

Certain that the Arctic is a future market for marine transport, Lafontaine says: “Every investment we make will be a step further in our industry development.”

Turning to other future “harsh” and “deep“ environments, Lafontaine says Brazil and Africa’s deepwater oil and gas markets have their own environmental challenges.

“It is this market our DP [dynamically positioned] vessels serve with subsea lifting of manifolds, spools and other subsea structures,” Lafontaine says. Jumbo’s Fairplayer has an unequalled deep-water reach of 1,000 tonnes at 1,000m water depth, or 200 tonnes at 3,000m.

“While the North Sea is well known for being harsh due to waves,” he continues, “West Africa and Brazil can be a harsh from a long swell perspective.”

“In South Africa you have both!” says LaFontaine. “Last winter Jumbo installed five manifolds for PetroSA just offshore the Cape of Good Hope. I think that is the worst environment in this world – you can ask every sailor!”

Jumbo’s next class of new build vessels, designated the L-Class, is already on the drawing board. Although the final design is still confidential, it is likely to be Jumbo’s fastest, most efficient transport vessel generation with environmental awareness embedded in its design.

“We are also building-in more flexibility. Depending on specific project requirements the vessel can adapt its cargo capacity,” Lafontaine reveals.

But it isn’t just about the vessels: Lafontaine believes that clients in the future will also demand a smarter way of working, with closer collaboration between client and contractor during project execution. “Projects are becoming more complex with no compromise on safety and quality behaviour,” he says.

“Relationships with our partners is getting more important,” Lafontaine points out. “Where we used to be a transport provider, now we want to be a partner of choice where we can jointly create solutions.”

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