GC Rieber Shipping takes delivery of ‘Polar Onyx’

The offshore construction vessel ‘Polar Onyx’ was delivered on 4 March 2014 from Ulstein Verft to GC Rieber Shipping, as the latest addition to their growing investments into the subsea segment.



The vessel’s first assignment will be to work for deepwater projects serving as pipelay support vessel for Petrobras offshore Brazil. The 130-metre long and 25-metre wide ‘Polar Onyx’ is based on ULSTEIN’s SX121 design, a design which is generally designed to operate in the IMR/SURF construction market, with high capacity for flexible pipe cargo below deck and on main deck.

Irene W. Basili, CEO GC Rieber Shipping, states: “The new addition to the company is a vessel with high technical and operational capacity which will strengthen our position in the high-end subsea segment. The vessel is designed to meet the increasing expectations from our clients in this segment in terms of operational redundancy and flexibility. Our cooperation with Ulstein Verft has been excellent, which again has been essential for us in supporting our client.”polar_onyx

Main features

‘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. ‘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 tonnes at 14-metre outreach, and a 12-tonne AHC offshore crane. She will also carry two new 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 maximised due to the ‘Operation+’ feature, allowing the vessel to continue and retain system integrity with uninterrupted operations even after a substantial single system failure.

‘Polar Onyx’ is powered by a diesel electric plant comprising of six identical 2,740 ekW generator 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.

Quality and Expertise

Gunvor Ulstein, CEO Ulstein Group, comments: “ULSTEIN has a complete cycle of expertise in ship design, engineering, shipbuilding and ship investments, specialising in high-quality, advanced offshore vessels for demanding operations world-wide. We have had an excellent cooperation with GC Rieber Shipping in the development and construction process, and we wish the shipowner and contractors all success with the ‘Polar Onyx’.”


Added Value

Ceona has chartered the vessel for a fixed period of five years, with options for up to five more years. After delivery, additional topside equipment will be installed before ‘Polar Onyx’ enters operations from May 2014.

Steve Preston, CEO at Ceona, said: “We are delighted with the on-time delivery of the ‘Polar Onyx’. After installation of a new 275 tonnes vertical laying tower in the Netherlands, she will be immediately used at her full potential in Brazil to deliver safely and efficiently deepwater SURF services to Petrobras through our partnership with Odebrecht.”


Press Release, March 04, 2014


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