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Sulmara takes leading high-spec offshore vessel on multi-year charter
Ocean Marlin Updates Image Large

Subsea specialist Sulmara has made its biggest commitment yet to the renewable energy industry after signing a three-year deal with Atlantic Offshore to charter their 67m, DPII MPSV ‘Ocean Marlin’.

While reviewing vessel options Sulmara focussed on identifying vessels with the least environmental impact possible while still able to deliver for their clients. They chose an unconventional yet pragmatic option of an emergency response rescue vessel (ERRV) and will undertake a substantial refit of the Ocean Marlin, including the installation of class-leading survey equipment, subsea crane with active heave compensation, and the creation of extra bed space.

Sulmara CEO Kevin McBarron said: “This deal is a step change for Sulmara as we continue to challenge conventions and find new ways of working to increase our capabilities and further support our clients in their projects and achieving their Net Zero targets.”

“Sulmara has proven the capabilities of uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) for certain offshore survey tasks and our vision is for their use to be widespread in the industry, but we recognise the current limitations of the technology. USVs are not the answer to all our client’s needs and there is still a place for conventional ships. In partnering with Atlantic Offshore, we can bring a vessel that is as fuel efficient and environmentally friendly as possible to the market. We had opportunities to charter older, less efficient vessels, but for our first long-term charter vessel, that does not align with our company vision, and we wanted to make the right choice.”

“We’ll be tracking the efficiency of the vessel throughout 2024, comparing emissions and fuel burn to existing and older assets in an effort to highlight the sustainability benefits of our solutions to both our clients and the wider industry.”

Built in 2014, the Ocean Marlin is 2298GT, with ample deck space for a range of mobilised equipment and accommodation for 28 Sulmara and client personnel. She is likely to commence activities for Sulmara in late Q1 2024 and will initially operate on projects across Europe.

“Modern, environmentally friendly vessels to carry out this type of work are in short supply, and we are fortunate to have partnered with an agile organisation like Atlantic Offshore,” added Kevin. The several million pound upgrade to the vessel includes installation of both WROV and ObsROV vehicles to compliment a 34T AHC crane and a full survey and positioning spread, as well as further engineering upgrades to support the deployment of a wide range of fixed and towed equipment.

“We want the industry to reassess how it approaches all aspects of a project to maximise the potential environmental and commercial benefits. This design of ERRV is known for its superior seakeeping abilities in adverse weather conditions, further maximising operational windows and reducing the duration of offshore projects. This is a big part of why we are refitting the Ocean Marlin, and we look forward to bringing this advanced vessel type to the renewables market.”

Atlantic Offshore CEO Roy Wareberg said: “We are excited by the plans Sulmara has for the Ocean Marlin and are delighted to partner with them. The vision shown by both organisations in transforming an ERRV is yet another example of how traditional oil and gas infrastructure can be repurposed to help the energy industry move forward.”

Formed in 2019 and employing more than 180 people worldwide, Sulmara has grown rapidly to become an international services provider with offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

The Glasgow-headquartered organisation recently signed a Master Service Agreement with Asso.subsea which will see the companies collaborate on work across the world, including in North Sea, Baltic and Mediterranean operations.

That agreement followed more positive news for Sulmara who late last year announced it had placed an order worth $1.6 million with Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. for several of its Wave Adaptive Modular Vessels (WAM-V) USVs and also opened a new office in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, to help cope with increased demand.