VESSEL REFIT | Orient Constructor – Construction vessel rebuilt as walk-to-work asset for Taiwan’s Dong Fang

VESSEL REFIT | Orient Constructor – Construction vessel rebuilt as walk-to-work asset for Taiwan’s Dong Fang

Photo: Fang Offshore

Dong Fang Offshore (DFO), a subsidiary of Taiwan’s Hung Hua Construction, has begun operating the first subsea construction and walk-to-work (W2W) vessel to be owned by a Taiwanese company.

Originally built by Norwegian shipyard Kleven Verft as a construction support vessel (CSV) in 2014, the DNV-classed Olympic Athene first operated as part of the fleet of Olympic Shipping. The vessel later became more popularly known as Seabed Constructor, as it was under this name that it was used for a number of undersea shipwreck discoveries such as the discoveries of the Argentine Navy submarine ARA San Juan, the South Korean large ore carrier Stellar Daisy, the French submarine Minerve, the German World War I cruiser Scharnhorst, and the American battleship USS Nevada during the 2018-2020 time frame. The vessel was also twice deployed to assist in the search for the still missing Boeing 777-200ER aircraft of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in 2014.

Following its acquisition by DFO in April 2021, the vessel underwent an extensive conversion to enable it to better support commissioning and maintenance activities in the Taiwanese offshore wind industry. The vessel has now been reflagged to Taiwan and appropriately renamed Orient Constructor, and its array of equipment includes a 250-tonne active heave compensated main crane and a 3D motion-compensated gangway.

Photo: Fang Offshore

Accommodations are available for 102 persons, and the aft deck’s total area of 1,300 square metres has capacity for 1,000 tonnes of assorted cargo. Separate cargo holds meanwhile have a total area of 346 square metres.

Design and engineering were performed by Norwegian naval architects Marin Teknikk, which also assisted in the vessel’s subsequent W2W conversion.

The vessel has an LOA of 115.4 metres, a beam of 22 metres, a maximum draught of 7.12 metres, and a deadweight of 6,840 tonnes. The flight deck can accommodate two 16-tonne helicopters while a dedicated hangar located aft of the accommodation area can house remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). The ROVs are deployed and recovered via a pair of Ultamec launch and recovery systems (LARS) and a 7.2- by 7.2-metre moonpool.

The accommodation block includes 24 one-berth cabins, 39 two-berth cabins, an onboard hospital, four lounges, a mess room, two conference rooms, two client offices, and a gym.

Power is provided by five Caterpillar 2,230ekW engines driving two 3,000kW Contaz propellers to deliver a maximum speed of 14.1 knots and a service speed of 12.5 knots. A 1,700kW generator set supplies electrical power when the vessel is in harbour. Thrusters at the bow and stern work in conjunction with the vessel’s Kongsberg DP2 system to ensure adequate station keeping.

Photo: Marin Teknikk

The conversion work on Orient Constructor was performed in Taiwan and completed in late 2021. Earlier this year, the vessel concluded W2W trials at the Greater Changhua 1 and 2a offshore wind farms. The trials validated the ability of the vessel to conduct crew transfers during Taiwan’s harsh weather winter period at both the offshore substation and offshore foundations. Wave buoy data during the trials showed significant wave heights of up to four metres at the site.

Click here for more news stories, feature articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on offshore vessels.

Orient Constructor
Type of vessel: Offshore construction and maintenance vessel
Classification: DNV 1A1 Clean(Design), COMF(C-3, V-3), DK(+), DYNPOS(AUTR), E0, HELDK(S), Ice(C), NAUT(OSV(A)), SF
Flag: Taiwan
Owner: Hung Hua Construction, Taiwan
Operator: Dong Fang Offshore, Taiwan
Designer: Marin Teknikk, Norway
Builder: Kleven Verft, Norway
Length overall: 115.4 metres
Length bp: 108.25 metres
Beam: 22 metres
Draught: 7.12 metres
Depth: 9.0 metres
Deadweight tonnage: 6,480
Gross tonnage: 7,883
Net tonnage: 2,364
Capacity: 1,000 tonnes
Main engines: 5 x Caterpillar, each 2,230 ekW
Propulsion: 2 x Contaz, each 3,000 kW
Generator: 1,700 kW
Side thrusters: 800 kW; 2 x 1,370 kW; 1,200 kW
Maximum speed: 14.1 knots
Cruising speed: 12.5 knots
Dynamic positioning: Kongsberg
Cranes: 3 x TTS; 2 x Effer
Other equipment installed: ROV hangar; moonpool; helicopter deck; 2 x Ultamec ROV launch and recovery systems; Safeway gangway
Fuel capacity: 1,750 cubic metres
Freshwater capacity: 1,250 cubic metres
Accommodation: 24 x one-berth cabins; 39 x two-berth cabins; hospital; 4 x lounges; mess room; 2 x conference rooms; 2 x client offices; gym
Crew: 102
Operational area: Taiwan

Baird Maritime

The best maritime site on the web. The sea's our scene!