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  • Writer's pictureSarah Whiteford

North Sea Giant - Fun Facts

It’s Fun Fact Friday and we’re taking a look at the North Sea Giant!

The North Sea Giant is the world’s tallest, and one of the world’s largest offshore construction vessels, or OCVs. The 156m meter long OCV was built by Sawicon, a Norwegian designing corporation, and constructed at the Spanish Metal Ships and Docks shipyard. The vessel is designed specifically for construction of mineral extraction related projects and umbilical operations in deep sea environments. It can also work on a wide variety of projects like underwater cable and pipe laying, dredging, well intervention, and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) support. North Sea Shipping is the current owner, a Norwegian shipping company.

Deck of the North Sea Giant. Image credit: Ship Technology.

According to Ship Technology, “North Sea Giant is a DNV classified comfort class 3 and clean design multipurpose offshore vessel. DNV’s clean design notation intends to reduce and control operational emissions and discharges.” The vessel is equipped with a complete diesel power plant and low loss concept (LLC) diesel electric system. Power comes from six engines made by General Electric, each with an output of 3,630kW at 900rpm, six main generators from Leroy Somer generate electricity. One emergency engine is present to provide 900 kW of power. Propulsion and maneuvering is multifaceted: there are three Voith Schneider main propellers, each providing 3,800 kW of power for propulsion, while two forward Voith Schneider thrusters provide 3,800 kW each, and one Rolls Royce tunnel thruster adds 2,000 kW.

North Sea Giant at sea. Image credit: Ship Technology.

Kongsberg provided their DPC21 dynamic positioning system, providing DP3 redundancy. According to Marine Insight, “Enabled with a Level III DP system, the OCV’s communication channels include VHF radios while state-of-the-art radar systems and ECHO systems form a part of its navigational assistance.” North Sea Giant is also the only vessel in the world to have all of it’s vital operational systems tripled.

During construction lifts, loading, and unloading a Frank Mohn (FRAMO) anti-heeling pumping system on each side of the vessel minimizes heeling. When a ship tilts to any side, it can be dangerous for crew, machinery, and anything or anyone on board. Ballast tanks hold water that can be transferred to other areas of the ship to keep it level and safe. North Sea Giant stays stable through rolling waves with an active anti-roll system and a passive stabilization tank.

North Sea Giant side view. Image credit: Corvus Energy.

It also features a 7.2x7.2 meter moonpool for umbilical and ROV operations that can be extended to 12x7.2 meters if needed. North Sea Giant has a gross tonnage of 18,151 tons and accommodations for 120 crew, including recreation rooms, a theatre, two ROV garages, two ROV control rooms, and a helicopter pad. Equipment also includes two main cranes, rated at 400 tons and 50 tons, as well as a provisional crane rated at 2 tons. Two electro-hydraulic anchor mooring winches and two electro-hydraulic capstans are also present on deck.

The uniqueness of this vessel is not only it’s massive size, but it’s ability to operate in deep water for many types of projects. This vessel is purpose-built to be high efficiency while taking on deep sea mineral extraction projects, with the flexibility to fill in other areas. As deep ocean mineral extraction becomes more common, we expect to see more vessels like the North Sea Giant. For an excellent video on the features of this vessel, check out the video below:


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