OSD-IMT designs vessels for Swire Pacific Offshore

Swire Pacific Offshore (SPO) is a Singapore-based global service provider to the offshore oil and gas industry. It currently owns and operates 84 offshore support vessels.

By 2015 the company will have a total of 100 vessels in its fleet and 34 of them are designed in co-operation with OSD-IMT.

Headquartered in Singapore, with regional controlling offices in Brazil, Australia, Cameroon and the United Arab Emirates, as well as agent offices in other locations, SPO is well placed to operate vessels in virtually every major oil exploration region in the world. It aims to offer a one-stop solution to meet the diverse needs of its clients.

SPO currently has ten high-specification IMT984 4000 dwt PSVs designed by OSD-IMT on order with Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) in Japan. David Marren, SPO Technical Director, says, “The first of these vessels, designated as our ‘G Class’, will be delivered, on time, in August 2014, with the other deliveries scheduled to follow at regular intervals until December 2015. These vessels are designed to reflect the changing needs of the industry and they form an integral part of SPO’s continuing fleet growth and rebalance.”

Other ongoing projects include four IMT 997 5,000 dwt PSVs being built in Japan and four IMT997 PSVs building in Brazil.

SPO has progressively expanded its range of services and provides its clients with a broad product offering, delivered consistently to a common high standard. The businesses within the SPO group are able to provide seismic survey support, marine salvage, oil spill preparedness and emergency response, offshore windfarm installation and decommissioning, subsea and ROV services, as well as integrated logistics solutions.

The majority of the SPO fleet is equipped with dynamic positioning systems (DP1 or DP2). Types of vessels owned include Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessels, Platform Supply Vessels (PSV), Ice-breaking Supply Vessels (IBSV), Anchor Handling Tugs (AHT), Seismic Survey Vessels and other specialised workboats.

David Marren says, “The offshore sector is one of the better performing parts of the marine industry at present and, after a slowdown in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis, it is growing steadily again. New vessels continue to be commissioned to replace older units but it is important that the growth is sustainable and that supply and demand are kept in balance. There are always new frontiers to conquer, new services to provide, but they need to be handled cautiously and responsibly.”

David identifies particular areas of potential expansion for SPO as its fledgling subsea inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) business, and harsh environment operations.

“We operate on a worldwide basis,” he says, “with the exception of the Gulf of Mexico, so we are ideally positioned to pursue our involvement in a wide range of activities across the globe.”

David also highlights the company’s recent entry into the renewable energy sector.

Currently, SPO has two windfarm installation vessels in its fleet. At a massive length of 161 metres, with a capacity to carry and install up to 12 units of a 3.6 MW design, they are amongst the world’s largest structures for the installation of Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs). With the vessels also having demonstrated suitability for oil and gas platform decommissioning, David can see a potential for growth in SPO’s service offering here.

SPO’s stated commitment is to ‘excellence in marine services – excellence in every operation, every time, everywhere.’ It recognises that its employees are central to the company’s ability to deliver on this promise, and has invested heavily in a state-of-the-art global training centre, Swire Marine Training Centre (SMTC) in Singapore.

The centre is well-equipped with highly sophisticated facilities and simulators and is used for ongoing training for seagoing SPO employees to ensure that the company has the best anchor-handlers, DP officers, and engineers. David says, “Finding good engineers, both ashore and afloat, is an ongoing challenge for us. Vessels are becoming more complex, so the demands on engineering employees are increasing. But with our emphasis on ongoing education, training and competence management, we are confident that this is a challenge we can meet.”

OSD-IMT is currently the only ship designer that SPO is working with. David says, “Working with OSD-IMT is a very pleasurable experience. They are very accommodating, open, honest, easy to work with, and very receptive to owners’ needs. Typically, we will provide a broad-brush outline of our requirements and, following discussions, OSD-IMT will produce the drawings which will eventually form the basis of the ship design.

“OSD-IMT is an ideal partner for us, because we have a very effective and balanced relationship and our skills are complementary. We believe in building long-term partnerships with people who share our commitment to deliver excellence in marine services. We trust them to get the design right, whereafter it is our responsibility to see that the vessel meets the functional operational requirements of the market. We look forward to continuing to work with OSD-IMT in a robust and challenging partnership that will be mutually rewarding.”

Offshore Ship Designers, April 17, 2014

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