The Fairstar Fjell is one of two cargo vessels owned by Netherlands-based Fairstar Heavy Transport, a cargo transportation company that provides services to offshore and onshore industries. Fairstar was formerly known as Fairmount Heavy transport. Its also owns the semi-submersible heavy transport vessel Fjord.

In August 2005, Fairmount acquired the Fjord and Fjell as barges from Norway’s BOA Offshore for $45m. Conversion of the barges was completed by the end of 2005 while the construction contract was signed in Malta during March 2006.

In December 2006 the Fjell sailed to Malta for conversion, which was was completed in May 2009. The conversion of the vessels cost about $82.5m.

The conversion of the Fjell to a self-propelled vessel reduced the delivery time by 18-24 months compared to building a new vessel. The conversion cost was reduced by $25m.

The design features of the Fjell include an open stern, a shallow draft, a sophisticated ballast system and high weight-bearing.

Construction

The Fjell was originally built as a 25,000t barge in 2000 at Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China.

The conversion work comprised additional accommodation and a navigation bridge, life-saving equipment, an engine room with generator sets, thrusters, electric propulsion moors, generator sets for powering ballasting system and auxiliary systems, bow thruster to increase manoeuvrability and a new bow with a bulbous section.

Ballast system

“The Fjell was originally built as a 25,000t barge in 2000 at Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China.”

A ballast system with a capacity of 7,000m3 p/hr was installed in the vessel. The system can be operated remotely from a control room. Two independent remote sounding systems, including interactive loading computers, are installed in the control room.

Trials

The ship's sea trials started with basin manoeuvres in the shelter of Valetta and then moved in to the open sea.

The Fjell underwent a submersion test under the examination of Det Norske Veritas. It passed the tests in May 2009 and received Certificates of Class. Under the certification, Fjell is recognised as a semi-submersible heavy transport vessel.

Contracts and cargo

The Fjell and Fjord will work on a contract-to-contract basis instead of being time-chartered to clients. Fairstar will bear ballast journey risks, harbour costs, cribbing and seafastening costs.

The Fjell will be used to transport floating and non-floating cargoes utilised by gas and oil industry.

Its first contract, to transport and launch a chemical product tanker, was signed between Fairstar and Cantiere Navale Di Trapani (CNT). The tanker Marettimo was recently constructed in CNT shipyard in Sicily. The contract was worth $1.32m.

The 7,000t tanker was moved on to the Fjell's deck using an array of Mammoet Self-Propelled Mobile Trailers (SPMT) and was launched at Trapani harbor.

Currently, the ship will transport Pazflor FPSO components to the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) yard in Okpo, Korea. The cargo will be loaded at Lobito in Angola. Daewoo will utilise the Fjell and Fjord for about 144 days, under a $15.25m contract.