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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

September 1, 2009

Bourbon launches X-bow PSV in China

Bourbon Offshore Norway has launched Bourbon Front, the first of four Ulstein PX105 platform supply vessels under construction at Zhejiang Shipbuilding Co. Ltd in Ningbo, China.

"The ships will be the most advanced supply vessels ever designed and built due to the state-of-the-art cargo solution onboard," says Ulstein Design project manager Inge Sleipnes.

While conventional supply vessels have dedicated tanks, the new Bourbon vessels use MACS [Multi Application Cargo Tanks] tanks that can hold both dry and liquid bulk.

"While conventional supply ships typically carry six or seven types of cargo, our ships can carry 21 different products at once," says Bourbon Offshore Norway newbuilding and project manager Bjørn Bergsnes. "The ships can carry a much wider range of products, which means greater flexibility."

"The ships have eight MACS tanks onboard, four of which are low flashpoint tanks--meaning that they can carry flammable goods," says Bergsnes. "The vessels also have 12 conventional tanks. All of the tanks have separate pumps which allow them to be unloaded independently of each other through their respective piping system. This makes unloading safer and more efficient."

The ships are equipped to FiFi class I, with fire monitors placed rearmost on the stern to improve ship and crew safety and provide a better overview of fire-fighting operations,."

The ships features a Mecmar system that releases the exhaust through the hull sides just above the waterline. The ship runs more quietly and there is a 360-degree view from any point on the bridge. The system also frees up space in the accommodations where conventional exhaust pipes would otherwise be fitted.

"Without exhaust pipes in their accommodations, with super-quiet side thrusters, Ulstein X-Bow and carefully planned interiors, these vessels will provide maximal comfort for the crew. Catalyzers keep NOx emissions low, and other exhaust gases that would normally be released into the air are now partially mixed in with the seawater," says Bergsnes.

"Service and maintenance conditions dockside are also improved because of less noise in the engine room, as the harbor generator is situated in a separate compartment in the engine room," adds Sleipnes.

According to Bergsnes, Zhejiang Shipbuilding has had no difficulty building ships with the X-bow--which are the first of their type in Asia.

"The yard has built four Ulstein P105s previously, the latest delivered at the end of last year," he says. "These ships function well, and we have great confidence in this building project."

The Bourbon Group has 25 employees at the yard and Bourbon Offshore Norway has two site supervisors drawing on those resources during the construction period. DNV's organization in Ningbo is also of great help during the construction period. Additionally, Ulstein Group has a number of employees at the site.


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