Indian logistics and port management specialist J.M Baxi Group has taken delivery of its latest heavy-lift module carrier, Vir Varenya.
The India-flagged newbuild, which was launched last year and delivered in July 2016, has been developed specifically to transport large components for offshore wind farm construction – including tripods, transition pieces, foundations and tower sections – in as wide a range of global regions as possible.
While many such module carriers are developed to service wind turbine arrays located in increasingly remote and deep waters, and are primarily designed to undertake international journeys, it is a fact that, in some parts of the world, these vessels must still contend with shallow inland waterways, coastal shipping routes and riverine ports during their operations. It is in response to these challenges that J.M Baxi specified a newbuild with a shallow draught, thus extending the vessel’s potential operational coverage to territories such as Africa and Western Asia.
Management of the newbuild has been designated to United Heavy Lift. Lars Rolner, United Heavy Lift managing director, says: “At the moment, we see that customers for chartering the deck carrier are primarily in the northern European market. At the same time, the markets in Africa and the Near East are developing strongly. “For the waters and ports there, a shallow draught is of crucial importance for a deck carrier.”
Built at Nantong Tongmao Shipbuilding Co, Ltd in China, Vir Varenya features an overall length of 130m, a moulded breadth of 25m, a depth of 7.8m and a deadweight of 10,000tonnes, and she has been designed to draw just 5.3m.
The vessel’s open deck area covers nearly 2,700m², spanning a length of 108m and the full 25m moulded beam; it has been developed with a stress load of 20tonnes per m², thus enabling the vessel to transport modules weighing up to 8,500tonnes.
The vessel has a ballast water capacity of 10,505m³ and equipment includes four ballast pumps. J.M Baxi explains: “Many riverine ports have high tidal variations… in order to complete cargo loading / unloading operations in a short duration of time the vessel has been equipped with high ballast pumps capacity.” Each pump is rated 500m³ per hour; the owner claims that this will enable loading and offloading operations to be conducted within a few hours, or “within the limited time span of a single high tide at many ports”, the group adds.
Propulsive set-up Vir Varenya has been fitted with two MAN B&W engines, each rated 1,290kW at 1,000rpm, which drive four-bladed fixed-pitch propellers. For enhanced manoeuvrability, especially in more shallow waters or restricted / busy areas, a 420kW Schottel bow thruster has also been installed. The vessel’s main generators were supplied by Volvo Penta, and are rated 320kW apiece. The carrier is able to attain a speed of 10knots at 85% MCR.
“Vessels such as Vir Varenya are not widely available in the world fleet, and are limited to specific trades and specific cargo types,” J.M Baxi says. “Building a non- standard vessel required meticulous planning between the operations and shipbuilding teams, whereby operational requirements were incorporated into the technical specifications and taken up with the design team at the shipyard.”