Austal delivers high speed offshore crew transfer vessel
- Written by Daniel Barnes
Austal has delivered its second high speed crew transfer vessel of 2016, to Swire Pacific Offshore (SPO). The 57.6m all-aluminium catamaran was designed by Incat Crowther and constructed by Austal’s shipyard in the Philippines. It is the fourth offshore crew transfer vessel delivered by Austal in the past 15 months.
The 40 knot Offshore Express 57 Large Crew Transfer Vessel (LCTV), named Pacific Kestrel, is a technologically advanced transport solution that is affordable and economical to own and operate. Capable of safely transporting 90 personnel (plus cargo) to offshore platforms up to Sea State 6 (defined as Very Rough conditions with wave heights between 4 to 6m), the vessel is a highly efficient alternative to fair-weather dependent helicopters.
Replacing comparatively more expensive helicopter transfers from early 2017, the Pacific Kestrel (and similar vessels like the 70m Rashid Behbudov recently delivered by Austal) is transforming the global offshore crew transfer market by bringing completely new levels of comfort, safety, versatility and economy to offshore operations.
“This latest large crew transfer vessel delivery further demonstrates Austal’s competitiveness in the international shipbuilding market. This competitiveness comes from our continued focus on reducing costs, which is achieving great outcomes for our customers and their clients,” said Austal CEO David Singleton.
The Pacific Kestrel features an Ampelmann motion-compensated “walk-to-work” (W2W) gangway that allows for the safe transfer of personnel to offshore platforms. Aided by a DP-2 (Dynamic Positioning) control system, the vessel has built-in redundancy to successfully complete transfers in the unlikely event of an engine or bow thruster failing.
In addition to a large, 200sqm cargo deck allowing up to 100 tonnes of cargo to be transported, the vessel also has Search and Rescue capability (SAR), with an on-board Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) available for rapid deployment and a chemical dispersant adding oil-spill ‘first response’ capability.