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MC class on a roll

Offshore Marine Technology: 2nd Quarter 2016

April saw the delivery of BigRoll Barentsz, the first of operator BigRoll Shipping’s new Module Carrier (MC) class of heavy-duty transportation ships.

Constructed at Cosco Dalian Shipyard, China, the vessel was immediately put to work in the Russian Arctic, where she is being chartered by the Yamgaz consortium ­ comprising Technip, JGC Corporation and Chiyoda ­ to provide transportation of large offshore modules and equipment for the Yamal LNG project.

This location has been hailed as a gas goldmine; Yamal LNG partner Total estimates that the region boasts an annual LNG production capacity of 16.5 million metric tonnes. However, it is also an extremely harsh and challenging environment. The region is ice-bound for seven to nine months a year; for three months each year, the sun does not even rise above the horizon, forcing work teams to work by spotlight in temperatures as low as -40°C.

Free deck space
Subsequently, BigRoll Barentsz has been built to Finnish/Swedish 1A Ice Class specifications, and has the ability to operate in temperatures plunging down to -55°C. Given the tight window in which she will be operating, it was also deemed crucial to ensure that the vessel was capable of transporting a sizeable amount of project-related cargo.

The vessel has therefore been developed with a flush deck, granting the crew unobstructed access to 125m x 42m of free deck space ­ spanning the entire width of the vessel. The deck is strengthened to 20tonnes per m², having been laid upon what BigRoll describes as “a uniform grid of bulkheads and web frames”. Each MC class vessel can load modules weighing 10,000tonnes over the stern and 15,000tonnes over the side.

As with the forthcoming MC class sister vessels, BigRoll Barentsz is fitted with a DP2 system and features a high ballast capacity ­ rated 12,000m³ (12 million litres) per hour ­ so as to significantly reduce loading and discharge times. The vessel’s main engines, tunnel thrusters and controllable pitch propellers were supplied by Wärtsilä.

According to BigRoll: “The Propulsion and Steering Machinery [PSMR] class notation, in combination with the slender hull, ensures reliability, sustainable speeds, short transit times and sound seakeeping behaviour. The increased heading control results in lower acceleration forces on the cargo, while the combination of the hull design and propulsion system provides reduced fuel consumption.”

BigRoll Shipping was formed, in 2013, as a joint venture between Dutch heavy lift specialists RollDock and BigLift Shipping. Cosco Dalian is now close to delivering the second MC class vessel, BigRoll Bering, with the remaining two Module Carriers, BigRoll Baffin and BigRoll Beaufort, to follow in the second half of this year and in early 2017, respectively.

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