Seacor Marine Holdings has completed the installation of the first hybrid power solution on an offshore support vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. The installation follows the upgrade of the vessel to hybrid lithium power propulsion.
The Seacor vessel Maya is expected to prove the company’s belief that cutting edge hybrid power technology has the potential to improve vessel efficiency while reducing fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 20%, Seacor says.
But in addition to reducing consumption and thus costs, the technology will be a “key competitive differentiator,” according to John Gellert, Seacor’s CEO. It will leave the company “well placed to take advantage of an upturn in the market,” he says.
The company contracted with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) – a global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries – in March 2018 to class the Seacor Maya as the first offshore support vessel (OSV) in the Gulf of Mexico to operate using hybrid power. Sea trials of the vessel were conducted in mid-May 2018.
Three additional OSVs from Seacor (operated by MexMar) including Azteca, Warrior, and Viking, are expected to be upgraded to a similar battery system as Maya, with the upgrade expected to be completed by September 2018. Seacor Marine will also install the technology onboard six vessels under construction at COSCO shipyard in Guangdong. The first two vessels are due for delivery by the end of 2018, with the remaining vessels set for delivery in 2020.
The lithium-ion-based Orca Energy Storage Systems (ESS) for all four vessels in the Gulf of Mexico was supplied by Corvus Energy. Kongsberg Maritime designed the supply and integration of the hybrid power into the vessel’s control, power monitoring, and dynamic positioning systems. Corvus and Kongsberg are contracted for the remaining three vessels operated by MexMar as well.
Innovations like the Maya’s power solution are expected to continue, as environmental policy is likely to see a clear shift from land to sea, with shipping continuing to be the most efficient way to transport vast amounts of goods long-distance, according to the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association chief executive Sturla Henriksen.
Demand for shipping services will double in the next couple of decades, which means that the shipping industry will continue to have a major impact on the global sustainability community.
Vendors mentioned above