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Working on the Largest Heavy-Lift Vessel in the World

During the last couple of years, Oceanic Consulting Corporation, part of the J.D. Irving Group of Companies in St. John's, NL, completed several test campaigns for Dockwise, a world leader in the heavy marine transport industry, based in the Netherlands.  The test campaigns were performed on the Dockwise Vanguard, the largest heavy-lift vessel in the world.

The first test campaign performed by Oceanic focused on the safe transport of a large semi-submersible drilling unit on the Dockwise Vanguard. Two following campaigns were related to offshore loading/discharge of a similar type of cargo.

"These were exciting projects to work on," said Paul Herrington, Director of Operations of Oceanic.  “Our team at Oceanic performed several experiments at the facility in St. John's.  We built scale models of the vessel and put them through several weather and sea state scenarios."

In the end, the Oceanic team was able to provide critical data related to the parameters of the vessel's operations in carrying and loading/unloading large vessels and oil rig platforms.  “The offshore discharge tests were extremely difficult to perform; it was hard to achieve accurate measurements for tests with two large models in very low wave conditions”, said Onno Peters, Specialist Marine Engineer at Dockwise.

The Oceanic model experiments provided Dockwise with the data needed to understand the vessel’s capabilities under a variety of sea conditions.

On February 12, 2013, the Dockwise Vanguard embarked on its maiden voyage from South Korea to the Gulf of Mexico carrying the 56,000 metric tonne Jack/St. Malo, a semi-submersible hull for the offshore oil & gas industry.

Lee Hedd, Oceanic's Director of Business Development, says winning the contract to provide technical support for a first-of-its-kind vessel represents confidence in the skill set of the Oceanic team.  “Our success is due to our experienced researchers, engineers, and technical personnel, combined with our access to one of the world's most comprehensive collections of hydrodynamic research facilities," Hedd said.

Oceanic continues to build that skill set among its 40 employees as it grows the business serving the offshore oil and gas industry.