Damen Shipyards Group is rolling out a new Fast Crew Supplier class – the FCS 2710 – an upgraded version of its FCS 2610. The first FCS 2710 is already under construction at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem and will be delivered to High Speed Transfers (HST) in July 2018.
High Speed Transfers, a newcomer to the offshore energy transfer sector based in Swansea, Wales, sees the FCS 2710 as the way to make an immediate impact using an upgraded version of a vessel-type that is already well known in the market, according to Damen.
HST plans to initially focus on serving the offshore energy sectors in German and UK waters, but eyes operating globally as well. “We hope to build a fleet of four to six FCS 2710s over time. We see exciting times ahead, particularly in offshore renewables,” said HST Managing Director Tom Nevin.
Damen stated that the new FCS class retained the twin hull, axe bow design that has made the Damen FCS 2610 so successful. However, as the offshore energy industry evolving over recent years, so have its requirements for crew transfer vessels and the regulations that govern them. The vessel builder said it had listened to the feedback from the industry and designed a vessel that features much of the fundamental design of the 2610, but delivers the additional capacity and performance sought by operators today.
Arjen van Elk, Damen Sales Manager for UK & Ireland, said that FCS 2710 had been designed with a lot of practical input from various clients and end-users such as Vattenfall, Siemens and E-On, and like the 2610 it is optimised to support the offshore oil & gas and survey sectors, as well as offshore wind and other marine renewables. “Customers will also benefit from a choice of propulsion systems with conventional shafts, water jets, IPS and Voith Linear Drives all available as options,” Van Elk said.
The FCS 2710 is one metre longer and one metre taller than its predecessor. The extra metre above the water not only increases the hull volume but also allows the vessel to operate in wave heights of above two metres, Damen stated, adding that this substantially increases the range of weather conditions in which it can be at sea, an important consideration given the longer distances that maintenance crews are now having to travel.
The new Fast Crew Supplier can also carry 26 passengers in its standard configuration – twice as many as its predecessor. This has been done by optimising the available deck space by changing it from a stepped layout to one that is level, thus enabling a larger wheelhouse and more than doubling the interior volume available for the accommodation, all without any loss in deck space available for cargo transportation, Damen explained.