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Gulf of Mexico's first OSV hybrid power installation completed

Three other OSVs are set to be upgraded to a similar battery system by September.

Image credit: SEACOR Marine Holdings Inc.

Updated on 21 Jun 2018 09:24 GMT

SEACOR Marine Holdings Inc. has announced it has completed the installation of the first hybrid power solution on an offshore support vessel (OSV) in the Gulf of Mexico, following the upgrade of the SEACOR Maya to hybrid lithium battery power propulsion.

After a series of trials in mid-May, the SEACOR Maya was issued its Interim Class Certificate from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) with the additional notation 'BATTERY-Li' - the first ever ABS OSV to have this notation.

SEACOR Marine contracted with ABS in March 2018 to class the SEACOR Maya as the first OSV in the Gulf of Mexico to operate using hybrid power. Following the vessel's modification to hybrid lithium battery power propulsion, ABS provided the additional BATTERY-Li notation for the ship in May.

The SEACOR Maya is currently operated by Mantenimiento Express Maritimo (MexMar), SEACOR Marine's joint venture in Mexico. And ABS has also been engaged to provide the BATTERY-Li notation on three additional OSVs operated by MexMar: SEACOR Azteca, SEACOR Warrior, and SEACOR Viking.

The vessels are expected to be upgraded to a similar battery system as the SEACOR Maya, with the upgrade set to be completed by September 2018.

SEACOR Marine says it will also install the technology aboard six vessels under construction at COSCO shipyard in Guangdong. The first two vessels are due for delivery by the end of 2018, and the remaining vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 2020.

The lithium-ion-based Orca Energy Storage Systems (ESS) for all four vessels in the Gulf of Mexico was supplied by Corvus Energy. Kongsberg Maritime designed the supply and integration of the hybrid power into the vessel's control, power monitoring, and dynamic positioning systems. Corvus and Kongsberg are also contracted for the remaining three vessels operated by MexMar.

John Gellert, SEACOR Marine's chief executive officer, commented: "The successful installation of a hybrid power solution along with the first ever ABS OSV BATTERY-Li notation is a big milestone for our company. We have long believed that cutting edge hybrid power technology has the potential to improve vessel efficiency, while reducing fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 20 percent. Early indications from sea trials of SEACOR Maya put us well within reach of this target and validate the success of our investment.

"The new hybrid lithium battery system will also help us improve safety, drive energy efficiencies and reduce our overall environmental impact. As governments tighten emissions standards, this technology will be a key competitive differentiator, leaving us well placed to take advantage of an upturn in the market."

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