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Global launch and recovery systems and boats manufacturer Palfinger Marine Winches and Offshore Equipment has entered into an agreement to provide complete winch packages for 15 module carrier vessels being built for Topaz Energy and Marine.

Delivery of the equipment is expected between January and November next year.

Developed by Vard Design, the vessels are specially designed to navigate the shallow river systems while carrying modules through the Russian waterways to oilfields in Kazakhstan.

The vessels, measuring 123 by 16.5m, are designed to transport high deck loads of up to 1,800t.

Palfinger Marine Winches and Offshore Equipment sales head Sverre Mowinckel-Nilsen said: "We are proud to once again be selected as supplier to VARD Groups newbuilding projects and especially as this is such a major contract.

"It is a great endorsement for the range and quality of our equipment."

"It is a great endorsement for the range and quality of our equipment, as well as the excellent level of service we provide."

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By GlobalData

The ships, of VARD 9 21 design, will be fitted with both electric and hydraulic driven winches inclusive frequency converters and Hydraulic power units (HPU).

Once completed, the vessels will be operated by Topaz Energy and Marine through a consortium led by Blue Water Shipping for the end-client Tengizchevroil.

Of the 15 vessels, five will be built at Vard Braila shipyard and four at Vard Tulcea in Romania.

The remaining six ships will be built at Vard Vung Tau in Vietnam.

In February this year, Norwegian Deck Machinery (NDM), a part of Palfinger Marine had secured a contract to provide a complete 150t active heave compensated (AHC) winch system to the pipe layer vessel Lorelay, owned by Allseas Group.

Image: VARD 9 21 – module carrier vessel. Photo: courtesy of Vard Holdings Ltd.