STR Expands Its Falcon Robotic Vehicle Fleet

Subsea Technology & Rentals Ltd. (STR) has expanded its Saab Seaeye Falcon robotic vehicle fleet. All of the company’s Falcons are on long-term rentals.

The Falcon boasts five powerful thrusters and the advanced iCON intelligent distributed control system. The power provided by the thrusters makes the vehicles highly maneuverable, according to the company.

iCON provides precise station-keeping that frees the operator to focus on tasks and ensures stability in strong crosscurrents during precision operations.

Prysmian Orders Cable-laying Vessel

Prysmian Group said on March 14 it would invest more than $209 million in what could be the most capable cable-laying vessel on the market when it is delivered in the second quarter of 2020.

The new vessel will bolster Prysmian’s turnkey approach, the company said in a statement, under which it delivers end-to-end engineering, procurement, construction and installation projects from engineering, manufacturing and installation to full monitoring and diagnostic services. It also will bring long-term growth value in the submarine cable installation and offshore wind project areas of the business.

The new vessel has advanced features:

  • Deepwater installation capabilities for depths of more than 2,000 m (6,562 ft);
  • Increased cable-loading capacity thanks to large cable rotating platforms;
  • Capability to perform complex installation operations supporting a variety of burial systems, including heavy-duty ploughs; and
  • Positioning and seakeeping systems and a reduced environmental footprint.

Prysmian’s fleet already boasts three of the world’s most advanced cable-laying vessels: Giulio Verne, Cable Enterprise and Ulisse, along with installation and burial equipment, which includes the Hydroplow, the PLB machines Sea Mole and Otter, and HD3 ploughing technology.

The new vessel will boost Prysmian’s submarine cable operations by insourcing installation activities.

Construction Begins On Saudi Aramco’s Shipyard Joint Venture

A $5.3 billion joint venture to build a shipyard on the east coast of Saudi Arabia has started construction, Lamprell Plc said on March 16.

International Maritime Industries, a partnership that includes Lamprell, Saudi Aramco, National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) and South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., began operations after securing a $1 billion loan from the state-backed Saudi Industrial Development Fund.

The project will be headed by an Aramco executive. Lamprell is expected to provide a $140 million equity contribution.

The shipyard will take up almost 12 million sq m (12.9 million sq ft) and is designed to be able to build four offshore rigs and over 40 vessels a year, including three very large crude carriers and service more than 260 maritime products.

—Joseph Markman