Dutch shipbuilder Damen on Thursday laid the keel for the Bibby WaveMaster 1 at its yard in Galati, Romania.
Ordered by Bibby Marine Services in January 2016, the Bibby WaveMaster is the first Damen service operations vessel.
Continuing on from the first steel cutting in February, the initial stages of vessel fabrication are on schedule, Damen said.
“We are dealing with a relatively short construction period of 14 months,” said Damen Senior Project Manager René Hooijman.
“So, to make the process as efficient as possible, we have divided the production into seven phases. We are right on schedule with phase 1 which involves ten mid-ship sections. In terms of engineering, this strategy is the most efficient. For example, the aft sections require a lot of engineering and equipment so they will be constructed at a later date.”
Bibby Marine has a 3-man team at the yard, providing input and cooperating with the shipbuilder on the project.
“We believe in this market, we believe in the vessel and we believe in our own capabilities to satisfy the demands of the customer,” he says. “The proof of this is that we have ordered this vessel on a speculative basis – we haven’t ordered it against a contract. I think that this is a sign of our confidence both in the vessel and the market sector,” Bibby Marine Services CEO Stephen Blaikie said.
The Bibby WaveMaster 1 is a custom-designed 90m LOA (Length Overall) SOV, built on a DP-2 (Dynamic Positioning) platform, with a motion compensated access system (Walk to Work) and a Comfort Class 2 standard accommodation comprising 60 individual ensuite berths. Equipment will be transferred with a heave compensated offshore-rated knuckle boom crane.
The vessel is expected to be launched in mid-2017.