IHC Merwede Introduces New IHC Packhorse™ Offshore Support Vessels
IHC Merwede has extended its product range with the introduction of a new series of IHC Packhorse™ offshore support vessels at an official launch event in Singapore, organised by IHC Asia Pacific, a subsidiary of IHC Merwede. This latest development reinforces the company’s internationalisation strategy, which aims to provide a choice of designs and build locations to its customers on a global basis.
The range of vessels consists of: the IHC Packhorse which has been positioned as a platform support vessel (PSV); and the IHC Packhorse-Maxi, which is a variant on the basic hull form, providing a 59-person accommodation unit and a range of options designed for subsea support on IRM work, light construction and cablelaying projects. IHC Merwede offers the portable equipment for the IHC Packhorse-Maxi, either as an in-house supply package or as specified by customers, depending on their preference.
The new IHC Packhorse range will initially be built through the cooperation agreement established between IHC Merwede and Jaya Holdings. Jaya Holdings CEO, Venkatraman Sheshashayee, says, "We welcome the launch of the IHC Packhorse as another key step forward in our ongoing cooperation with IHC Merwede. This is an exciting development in the market to offer vessels built with European quality at Asian prices."
IHC Merwede’s President, Govert Hamers, explained that, while IHC Merwede was best known in the offshore sector for innovative custom-built vessels, it had recently extended its product range with the IHC Supporter® Class. "This is a cost-effective mid-size vessel, which offers a reduced build time and flexibility in the selection and configuration of mission equipment by virtue of its modular construction. The IHC Packhorse range represents the first move to extend our product portfolio into the volume market, while continuing to be a dependable partner for offshore operators."
In its pure-play PSV form, the IHC Packhorse represents a vessel, which has been optimised through discussions with operators and charter companies to meet the needs of deep-drilling and deep-water support. Its main features are a large working deck, a fuel-efficient hull form, optimised power distribution and a flexible tank configuration.
The same platform is used for the IHC Packhorse-Maxi, which has dual-stability books for operation as a non-SPS PSV at deeper draught. It has also been designed for the easy retrofitting of a heli-deck and is pre-strengthened to accommodate a 100-tonne heavecompensated crane. The large deck can carry various mission spreads, including diving support, ROV operation and cablelaying, with portable equipment designed and manufactured by IHC Merwede or as specified by the customer.
The IHC Packhorse utilises a low-cost highly efficient solution for the power distribution system developed by IHC Drives & Automation (part of IHC Merwede). Portable dive systems and cablelay solutions are available for the IHC Packhorse-Maxi from two of IHC Merwede’s other business units, IHC Hytech and IHC Engineering Business. This ensures the efficient integration of the equipment into the vessel’s operating systems.