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Vacon integral to Tideway vessel construction

13 October 2009

Tideway, a Belgian offshore specialist within the Belgian DEME (Dredging, Environmental and Marine Engineering Group), has selected Vacon drives for a fall pipe rockdumping vessel. Two 4.6MW diesel-electric main propulsion systems have been installed on board Flintstone.

"Imtech Marine & Offshore is a key system integrator which provides this special vessel with the diesel-electric propulsion as well as energy generation, distribution and automation. We are very pleased to supply AC drives for controlling the two 4.6-MW diesel-electric propulsion - which, in the Vacon Group's history, is so far one of the largest AC drives deliveries for main propulsion," says Daniel de Coster, managing director of Vacon Benelux NV/SA, Vacon's office in Belgium.

The special vessel, called "Flintstone", will be built for Tideway, an offshore specialist within the Belgian DEME (Dredging, Environmental & Marine Engineering) Group. With a loading capacity of 19,000 tonnes, the vessel can accurately cover oil and gas pipelines, installed thousands of metres under water, with a layer of rocks to embed them in the ocean floor. Imtech Marine & Offshore will also deliver a positioning and tracking system on the vessel.

The Vacon AC drives needed for the diesel-electric propulsion will be two sets of Vacon's 4.6-MW liquid-cooled AC drives and two 900-kW liquid-cooled AC drives. They will be controlled by Vacon DriveSynch, an innovative concept for running high-power AC drives in parallel. The Vacon DriveSynch provides a high degree of redundancy by allowing the control of one motor by means of 2 to 4 AC drives of 100 - 2,500 kW each. The Vacon DriveSynch is suited for the control of single and multi-winding AC motors.

The total installed power of the fall pipe rockdumping vessel is 13,000 kW. Diesel-electric propulsion is an eco-friendly system, allowing significant reductions in fuel consumption and environmentally harmful emissions. Additionally, ships which are equipped with this kind of technology are more manoeuvrable and produce less vibration on board resulting in less noise pollution.

The rockdumping vessel will be constructed at the Sembawang shipyard in Singapore and will be operational in 2011.


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