A ‘Steel Cutting Ceremony’ for the first of three Infield Support Vessels (ISVs) being constructed by Perth-based KT Maritime Services Australia Pty Ltd to support Shell’s Prelude FLNG project near Broome was held last week.
A tradition in the ship building industry, the Steel Cutting Ceremony marked the start of construction and was conducted at the Singapore shipyard of partner company, ASL Shipyard Pte Ltd.
KT Maritime Services Australia Director, Mark Thomas, said this major contract for the design, construction and operation of the three 42 metre long, 100 tonne bollard-pull ISVs at the Prelude site 475km north-north east of Broome was a major milestone for the company.
“We are very proud to be working with Shell on delivering the world’s first purpose-built FLNG infield support vessels (ISVs). The opportunity to provide such innovative vessels is something KT Maritime’s board of directors are extremely passionate about,” Mr Thomas said.
“Over the past six months, Shell and KT Maritime’s project teams have been tasked with optimising the ISVs as a world first concept. Now this process has been successfully completed, we are excited to commence the new build construction phase of the project.”
KT Maritime, a joint venture partnership with KOTUG International B.V and Teekay Shipping Australia Pty Ltd, has combined its expertise in towage and offshore facility management to design these critical towage assets. The ISVs will be tasked with servicing Prelude’s LNG, LPG and condensate export activities, as well as forming an integral part of the facility’s emergency response and evacuation requirements.
“This joint partnership was formed in 2012, with the vision of combining the technical innovation and expertise of KOTUG, with Teekay’s experience as a marine operator in Australia,” Mr Thomas said.
“This contract is a realisation of that vision, providing a fantastic opportunity for our new Australian business, KT Maritime, to enter the Australian marine towage market.
“We are now planning to employ more than 80 staff in Australia, and within the Broome community. KT Maritime is also in the early stages of planning Indigenous cadetship programs in partnership with Aboriginal Marine Services based in Perth.
“We are committed to growing the business and ensuring we provide opportunities for other Western Australian and Australian businesses to work with us. In fact, we have already engaged a number of local businesses to work with us during the construction and operations phase of Prelude.
“KT Maritime remains focused on the objective of delivering the vessels to a world class standard, working with ASL shipyards once again as we have in the past to construct more than 20 vessels for parent company KOTUG.”
The three ISVs will be powered by the revolutionary RotorTug® technology pioneered by KOTUG, featuring three separate azimuth propulsion units to provide improved vessel safety, power, efficiency and manoeuverability.