In response to the downturn in the offshore sector, designer Focal Marine & Offshore has turned its attention to designing tankers. This is an area in which it has been involved before.
Focal Marine general manager Shu Jun said to Singapore Solutions that it is designing a range of small and medium sized product tankers of 18,000 dwt, 24,000 dwt and 52,000 dwt and Aframax product tankers. “We are looking for more tanker design business, focusing on product and chemical tankers,” he said
Focal Marine & Offshore started in Shanghai in 2004 designing offshore support vessels (OSVs) and tankers. “During the offshore boom we stopped designing tankers. We have now returned to tankers, and in retrospect we should have kept doing tanker designs.” Its Singapore office opened in 2010.
Mr Shu said that the designs have a number of common features. They are all capable of dual-fuel operation for liquefied natural gas and heavy fuel oil and are compliant with IMO Tier III regulations. Outwardly the designs might appear similar to existing designs of similar sized tankers. “But take a closer look and you will find that the deadweight and cargo tank capacities are greater. This is particularly obvious in the medium range tanker design. Fuel consumption is lower and the environmental performance is superior.”
Hydraulically-driven deepwell pumps have been selected as the best solution for chemical tankers. Heating coils in the tanks are used for cargo heating in preference to less efficient deck mounted heat exchangers.
“We are still doing some specialised OSV design work, such as for diving support vessels, construction vessels and accommodation vessels. For example, we are designing an accommodation vessel with a 300-person capacity. We have had to incorporate passenger ship construction standards as IMO rules determine that vessels for more than 240 persons, other than crew, are regarded as passenger vessels. We are also developing a design for a 500-person accommodation vessel.”
“A construction support vessel (CSV) to our design has recently been delivered, a Focal 530 115m CSV design. It was supposed to be chartered by Diavaz for job with Pemex in Mexico but this has been postponed by one year.” This vessel was built at CSSC Guangzhou Huangpu Shipbuilding in China.
The Focal 530 design features diesel electric DP3 propulsion, two offshore cranes, one walk-to-work active heave compensated gangway, and accommodation for 300 persons. The design has Safe Return to Port features as required by the Code of Safety for Special Purpose Ships (SPS Code), and all cabins have natural light as required by the Maritime Labour Convention 2006. In addition, the design has an ABS crew habitability notation of HAB(WB), and an ENVIRO environment-friendly notation. The high DP capability is achieved using five thrusters and makes the design suitable for operation in deep water.
A DP3 diving support vessel (DSV) is also being built, to the Focal 527 design, for Tasik Subsea and is due to be delivered for a contract in Australia. The Focal 527 is a subsea operation vessel design, with a length overall of 105m and diesel-electric DP3 propulsion. The vessel will be installed with a built-in 15-person SAT diving system for 300 msw, a 150-tonnes active heave compensated subsea crane and remote operated vehicle facilities including a chamber for dual working class ROVs. Accommodation is provided for 120 persons.