To complete an extensive oil pipeline dredging and installation project, Murjan Al Sharq Marine Contracting Co. Ltd. (MSMC) has taken delivery of three Damen vessels: a Stan Tug 1606, a Shoalbuster 2509, and a Stan Pontoon 4512 equipped with a Damen DOP Pump. For Damen, this marks the successful conclusion of a coordinated construction and delivery contract involving three shipyards in the Netherlands, China and the United Arab Emirates.
The delivery ceremony of the Shoalbuster 2509 at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem was attended by MSMC Chairman Mr Abdullah Natheer and General Manager Chris Clark. Based in Saudi Arabia, MSMC provides marine construction and maintenance, dredging, diving and subsea services. The company will be using the three new vessels on an oil pipeline trenching project.
“The overall aim of our client’s project is to improve the efficiency of old wells,” explains Mr Clark. “We will be dredging a 5km trench and installing a new trunk line to tie in wells that have been recently upgraded. After that we have a pipe pull, followed by backfill operations.”
For the first kilometre of the trench, MSMC will mobilise the Multi Cat 1908 Murjan 40 and DOP 250 purchased from Damen in 2017.
The remaining 4km of trench will be dredged by the new Stan Pontoon 4512, supported by the new Stan Tug 1606 (named Murjan 22) and the new Shoalbuster 2509 (named Murjan 41).
Shallow water skills
The most notable aspect of the project is the sheer diversity of conditions that will be encountered. Water depth, for example, ranges from 0 metres at the shore to just 7 metres at its deepest point. Furthermore, geotechnical conditions are highly variable.
Any challenges posed by the working environment will be met by the flexibility of the Stan Pontoon 4512 facilitated by a 170-tonne Heila and a 100-tonne Liebherr crane. “We worked closely with Damen’s engineers in the Netherlands and at Albwardy Damen [the construction shipyard] to customise the Pontoon specifically for this job,” continues Mr Clark. “For trenching, we can work as a backhoe dredger, or use the DOP in various configurations. And then for backfilling operations we have a mass flow excavator.”
For mooring, depending on the conditions and client requirements, the Stan Pontoon can use its 4-point mooring system in addition to its three hydraulically-driven 18-metre long spud poles.
The substantial 515 m2 deck space also means that there is ample space for various 20-foot and 40-foot containers for day and night accommodation, workshop and control room facilities.
“Because of the versatility and modular capacity of the Pontoon, we will get full use of it by changing its capabilities. That's the main idea – increasing the bottom line for our client.”
A remarkable feat
Although the Stan Pontoon will play a pivotal role in the pipeline project, the two new supporting vessels’ contribution is not insignificant. The Stan Tug 1606, which was built at Damen Shipyards Changde, will provide support in the shallowest waters.
Built at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld, the Netherlands, the Shoalbuster 2509 – named Murjan 41 – will be called upon for support tasks further from the coast and for its 30-tonne bollard pull during pipe pulling operations.
“Most vessels with a 2-metre draught are not going to give you 30 tonnes of bollard pull. But that is the unique thing about the Shoalbuster, it can maintain its bollard pull even in shallow waters – it’s a remarkable feat.”
For MSMC, these latest three deliveries represent a continuance of its productive relationship with Damen, as Mr Natheer concludes: “They give us access to their engineering and technical team – people who really know what they're talking about when it comes to designing vessels for actual projects, this results in smooth execution of the work for our clients. Their whole team has been outstanding.”
Referring to the local service that Damen will be providing MSMC, Damen Regional Sales Director Middle East Jeremy Elschot says: “We are very proud to support the latest three vessel contract with a 3-year Damen Support Programme, this includes a 24/7 support line with monthly visits to analyse vessel performance, train the crew and support the full life cycle of the vessels on the job.
“We would like to thank Murjan Al-Sharq Marine Contracting for their continuous support and trust in Damen Shipyards. We are very proud to work together locally in Saudi Arabia and look forward to a long term successful partnership.”