Marine contractor Keynvor Morlift (KML) will retrofit its fleet with a newly developed dynamic positioning (DP) control system to open up new markets for barges.
Reygar successfully tested its StemTide DP control system on 60 m multipurpose barge Mormaen 15 during Q1 2018 after the 22 m wide barge was converted in Falmouth, UK.
StemTide controlled two modular deck-mounted azimuthing thrusters on this barge demonstrating its positioning capabilities.
It was installed on Mormaen 15 at the same time as the 430 kW thrusters and integrated with the thruster control system in about one hour. Reygar said the system was successfully tested in automatic, weathervane and joystick assist modes during the sea trials.
StemTide consistently held barge position throughout the trials to within +/-0.5 m and heading to within +/-1.0 degree of the target over a 30-minute test period in around 15 knots wind.
This system’s performance was also verified for operation in tidal current conditions. Reygar said it had identified opportunities for further enhancements on StemTide during the trial.
KML managing director Diccon Rogers said StemTide was also trialled on multipurpose installation and support vessel, Severn Seas, prior to the Mormaen 15 work.
He said the combination of the DP controls and thrusters meant Mormaen 15 became a “highly versatile and cost-effective stable platform for a variety of amphibious, nearshore and offshore applications.” These include laying cables, wave and tidal energy generating installations, offshore wind construction and marine civil engineering.
“In particular, StemTide’s performance in challenging locations including high current loading makes the whole set-up on Mormaen 15 uniquely rugged,” he said.
Mr Rogers added “We plan further DP thruster modularity throughout the KML barge fleet, including our crane barges. This will open new sectors and markets for us, as well as further enhancing the performance of our versatile vessel spreads”.
KML operates in northern Europe and the UK with a fleet of four barges, three vessels and two towage tugboats.
Reygar’s StemTide is a new DP control system to be trialled and could be a rival to existing providers. Its successful testing on a multipurpose vessel and a marine construction barge also opens DP to new vessel markets. It means this technology sector, which has been impacted by the dramatic downturn in the offshore vessel industry, has another market to target. Along with trials of using DP systems on tugs, there will be a drive to introduce these systems on vessels involved in marine construction, towage and ship handling duties. Others are bound to follow KML’s lead.