Dockwise Vanguard Type 0 Super Vessel is the world’s largest semi-submersible heavy transport vessel (SSHTV) designed to ship offshore oil and gas production facilities weighing up to 110,000t. The Netherlands-based Boskalis (previously known as Dockwise) owns and operates the vessel. The Dockwise Vanguard project comprised design and construction, and completed at a cost $240m.

The vessel was christened in November 2012 and delivered by Samsung Heavy Industries to Dockwise in February 2013.

Dockwise Vanguard will half the time required to transport FPSO units from shipyards to operating sites. This type of transportation is usually performed with two or three tug boats.

The board of directors of Dockwise issued its approval for commissioning of the super vessel in November 2010. The emerging market for heavy marine transports for the offshore industry has prompted the company to build the vessel. Breda-headquartered Dockwise owns a fleet of 19 purpose-built, semi-submersible vessels.

"Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) of South Korea was selected as the builder of the vessel in February 2011."

Key players

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) of South Korea was selected as builder of the vessel in February 2011. Construction began in the second half of 2011 and the vessel was delivered in February 2013.

The entire propulsion package of the vessel was supplied by Wartsila. The supply order was given to Wartsila by HHI in April 2011.

A contract to class the vessel was awarded to Norwegian classification society Det Norske Veritas (DNV). Finland-based Delta Marine has designed the vessel in cooperation with DNV and Dockwise.

In August 2011, Autronica was contracted to supply the entire fire detection system for the vessel. Autronica equipped the ship with its AutroSafe interactive fire alarm system. The system is designed to provide foolproof coverage for offshore and large transport ships. The communication between all system units is conveyed via a local network called Autrolon.

Project financing

The total cost of construction ($240m) was paid in various instalments, with 45% in 2011 and the remainder in 2012. Dockwise financed the project through a rights issue and revolver debt facility, both completed in 2010.

"A €78m equity raising was coordinated by RBS."

ABN AMRO Bank, Deutsche Bank, Rabobank and The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) committed to fund the project. A €78m equity raising was coordinated by RBS.

The bank also advised securing the commitment of the Dockwise’s senior shareholders and $110m revolving credit facility.

Type 0 Super Vessel design

Type 0 Super Vessel is designed to carry the next-generation of ultra-size units. The ship itself has an open stern or bowless design.

"The vessel’s main propulsion system comprises two Wartsila 6L38 and two Wartsila 12V38 engines."

The deck is submerged below water level. With an overall deck space of 19,250m² (275m x 70m), the vessel is the world’s first to carry more than 110,000t. It is equipped for semi-submersible and dynamic positioning.

The vessel has an overall length of 275m and the length between perpendiculars is 270m. Its maximum breadth is 78.75m and cruises at a speed of 14kt.

Type 0 Super Vessel Propulsion

The vessel’s main propulsion system comprises two Wartsila 6L38 engines and two Wartsila 12V38 engines. The Wartsila 6L20 is an auxiliary engine. The vessel is propelled by two controllable pitch propellers (CPP). There are two retractable thrusters and one bow thruster for smooth manoeuvring. The vessel is also fitted with a reduction gear system.