An offshore vessel, designed and equipped by Rolls-Royce, has today been named Skipsrevyen ‘Ship of the Year’ at the Nor-Shipping industry event in Oslo, Norway.

The Far Samson – a UT 761 CD design – is the world’s most powerful offshore vessel and entered service recently with Farstad Shipping on a contract to plough pipeline trenches in the North Sea, out of Aberdeen. ‘Ship of the Year’ was awarded jointly to shipowner Farstad Shipping, the yard STX Europe and designer Rolls-Royce.

The accolade builds on last year’s success, when the Rolls-Royce designed UT vessel, the UT 767 CD Island Wellserver, also won this prestigious award.

Rolls-Royce president – Offshore, Anders Almestad, said: “This award shows how adaptable our UT design is and we are delighted that the technical capabilities and environmental credentials of the Far Samson have been recognised by the maritime industry.”

Leading representatives of the shipping industry voted Far Samson as ‘Ship of the Year 2009’ because of ‘its state-of-the-art design and enormous capacity to perform as a seabed pipeline trenching vessel’. It was also recognised for its environmental performance, efficiency and innovative features, which collectively reduce the operating costs of the vessel.

The award judges said: “Far Samson represents the cutting edge of what is technologically possible and is therefore a worthy winner of this year’s award.”

Over 650 Rolls-Royce designed UT vessels are either in service or under construction around the world and the Far Samson is equipped with a Rolls-Royce propulsion system, diesel engines, thrusters, steering gear and controllable pitch propellers.

The vessel can perform a variety of tasks on the seabed and its power is particularly suited to pipeline trenching, where its record-breaking continuous bollard pull of 423t means it is capable of cutting trenches 2.5m deep, a metre deeper than previously possible.

A Rolls-Royce propulsion system combining diesel electric and diesel mechanical transmission provides Far Samson with optimal operating flexibility, fuel economy and minimum exhaust emissions.

The ship’s environmental performance is further enhanced with diesel engines that meet clean design class rules. Catalytic converters are also fitted to the generator sets, giving a 95% nitrogen oxide (NOx) reduction.