In a spectacular ceremony DEME’s next generation, giant new offshore installation vessel Orion was successfully launched at the COSCO Qidong shipyard in China on November 21. ‘Orion’ will feature an unrivalled combination of exceptionally high transport and load capacity, impressive lifting heights and green technology.
The launching marks a major milestone in the construction of this next generation vessel, which is progressing at the COSCO shipyard according to schedule. ‘Orion’ will be deployed for the construction of the largest offshore wind farms, to service the oil and gas industry and for the decommissioning of offshore installations. With a total installed capacity of 44,180 kW, ‘Orion’ will be equipped with a high-tech Liebherr crane with a lifting capacity of 5,000 tonnes and can hoist heavy loads at an exceptional radius. The loads can be lifted to an unrivalled height of more than 170 m.
The deck space and deadweight has been maximised to provide an exceptionally high transport and load capacity. ‘Orion’ can take the heaviest monopiles, jackets, wind turbine components and structures in a single shipment, and can transport and install the next generation of multi-megawatt wind turbines.
Environmental considerations are also an important element of the vessel design. ‘Orion’ has dual-fuel engines and can run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). It will have a Green Passport and Clean Design notation. This unique vessel will also have other environmental innovations on board, such as a waste heat recovery system that converts heat from the exhaust gases and cooling water to electrical energy. The evaporation of LNG will cool the accommodation with a cold recovery system.
At 216.5 metres long, ‘Orion’ features DP3 capability. She is expected to join the fleet at the end of 2019.
Innovative fleet investment programme at full speed
A number of pioneering vessels recently entered the DEME fleet, including the dual fuel dredgers ‘Minerva’ and ‘Scheldt River’ in 2017, the cable installation vessel ‘Living Stone’ and DP2 jack-up platform ‘Apollo’ in 2018. Other innovative vessels under construction include the 15,000 m³ trailing suction hopper dredger ‘Bonny River’ and the powerful cutter suction dredger ‘Spartacus’. Additionally, DEME recently ordered two new trailing suction hopper dredgers and two split barges, which will join the fleet in 2020.