Vard Holdings Limited has secured a contract for the design of a cable lay vessel for Kokusai Cable Ship Co Ltd in Japan.
Vard 9 01 Cable Ship
Source: Vard Holdings Limited
The contract for the vessel was awarded to Vard by Colombo Dockyard, who will build the vessel.
The Vard 9 01 is designed for efficient installation and repair of subsea telecom cables. It is also prepared for the expanding power cable installation market by incorporating a high capacity below-deck cable carousel.
Built in full accordance with Class NK and Japanese flag regulations as well as all relevant international safety and environmental standards, the vessel will have diesel-electric propulsion, class 2 dynamic positioning and large cable tanks, combined with a 2,000-tonnes capacity carousel. The total cable carrying capacity is 5,000 tonnes. The outfitting also comprises a dual cable lay system, A-frame, plough, and trenching remotely operated vehicle.
The keel laying ceremony for the vessel was held in Colombo on September 7, 2017. It will be delivered in 2019.
ANALYSIS: Vard were successful in winning the contract awarded in 2012 by Orange Marine for the “Pierre de Fermat” cable ship which was delivered in 2014.
CS “Pierre de Fermat”
Although the designs appear similar, the new 19-series vessel can carry twenty percent more cable, perhaps in anticipation of more transpacific systems to be built in future.
This is the second new cable ship to be commissioned by a Japanese operator in the last three years. NTT World Engineering Marine (NTTWEM) launched the CS “Kizuna”, built by Kanrei Shipbuilding in Sanmu, Japan, in November 2016.
In March 2017, Global Marine Systems Ltd. (GMSL) announced the conversion from charter to company-owned vessel of the CS “Recorder” “to support the telecoms installation business growth over the next 5-10 years, with a number of critical projects scheduled during 2018, 2019 and 2020.”
These additions to the global cable ship fleet are quite striking. The fleet was decimated in the early 2000s by the collapse of the submarine cable installation market. When the market returned, marine contractors were far more flexible in the use of existing resources with the result that the number of vessels deployed for submarine fiber optic cable installation and maintenance has remained stable for the last ten years. Additions to the fleet indicate a higher level of confidence in the market than has been seen for some time.
Julian Rawle, Author
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