Polar Onyx PLSV

New Wave Media

June 27, 2014

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The Polar Onyx is arguably the most modern PLSV working offshore Brazil. It is a good example of how Petrobras is demanding high-powered PLSV’s and OSV’s in general to tackle the harsh environments found in Brazil’s deepwater plays. The high capacity new-built is designed for operations in harsh conditions and deep waters and is configured with an Ulstein X-bow. It is built to the highest standard in dynamic positioning, DP3 (Operations +). Final outfitting took place in Schiedam in the Netherlands, where Huisman has installed a 275t vertical lay system (VLS) and a deck-mounted carousel with capacity for 2,000t of flexible pipes. Two permanent work-class ROVs delivered by Ceona’s partner ROVOP, which can operate in 3,000m water depth, were also mobilized in Schiedam.

Following her completion, the Polar Onyx sailed to Vitória, Espirito Santo, Brazil, where she started operations as a PLSV for Petrobras. Ceona will manage the PLSV in partnership with Odebrecht Oil & Gas (OOG). The Polar Onyx is under charter to Ceona from GC Rieber Shipping for a fixed period of five years, with options for up to five additional years. The 130-metre long and 25-metre wide Polar Onyx is based on ULSTEIN’s SX121 design, which is generally designed to operate in the IMR/SURF construction market, with high capacity for flexible pipe cargo below deck and on the main deck. Polar Onyx’ can accommodate 130 persons, and complies with the latest international environmental standards. She is certified according to Special Purpose Ships (SPS) and Clean Design and carries a Green Passport. The Polar Onyx has a large construction/cargo deck area of 1,700 m2. She is equipped with an AHC offshore crane capable of lifting 250 tons with a 14 meter outreach, and a 12-ton AHC offshore crane. Of the two work class ROVs, one to be deployed through a moon pool, the other over the starboard side.

The vessel is classed according to DNV, and meets the highest standards for station keeping, redundancy and dynamic positioning (DP3), with additional redundancy on all major components on board. Moreover, operability in DP2 operational mode is maximized due to the ‘Operation+’ feature, allowing the vessel to continue and retain system integrity with uninterrupted operations even after a substantial single system failure. The Polar Onyx is powered by a diesel electric plant comprising of six identical 2,740 ekW gen sets. Due to three thrusters forward and three azimuth main thrusters aft, the vessel is kept on a steady course also during pipe laying operations. The vessel will work as part of the expanding Petrobras fleet of PLSVs in deep and ultra-deep waters offshore Brazil, installing and recovering flexible risers, flowlines and umbilicals in depths of up to 2,200 metres, and the vessel will be in operation with Petrobras for a period of 12 months.

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Paschoa, Claudio
Claudio Paschoa is Marine Technology Reporter's correspondent in Brazil.
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