Bourbon Orca

On 17th June 2006, Bourbon Offshore Norway AS took delivery of hull no. 273, “Bourbon Orca”. The vessel is designed by Ulstein Design AS and is the first ship made in their new design AX104. She is built for Bourbon Offshore Norway by Ulstein Verft.

Bourbon Orca was christened in Ålesund on 26th of June this year. Many invited guests and other interested people were there to take part in the event. Norway’s previous Minister of Defence, Kristin Krohn Devold, was given the honour of being godmother of the ship, and after she had smashed the champagne bottle, the ship set off on a cruise in the fjords outside Ålesund.

The Bow

“Bourbon Orca” is built to serve the oil exploration and oil production industry worldwide. There are several distinctive features to her new design. The most eye-catching would be the inverted bow, called the Ulstein X-bow. Before building the vessel, the advantages of this bow were thoroughly tested in tanks at MARINTEK in Trondheim. These tests have shown that the shape of the bow lessens tacks from the sea. The vessel can therefore reach higher speeds in all weather conditions and at the same time maintain good fuel economy. Tests also showed that, even in extreme wave conditions, almost no seawater reached the deck outside the bridge.

The Safe Anchor Handling System

Besides the shape of the bow, the vessel has diesel-electric propulsion and the unique SAHS (Safe Anchor Handling System) from Odim. SAHS is developed in cooperation with the shipping company and Ulstein Design AS. As the name suggests, this system is developed for safety, and it is arranged so that the crew is protected during the most dangerous operations on deck. This is achieved by eliminating the need for human presence on the afterdeck during such operations. The afterdeck is equipped with two powerful mobile cranes with articulated grappling hooks, a control system and a remote activated video surveillance system, as well as a mobile anchor handling platform system to replace the traditional stern roller.

The Diesel-Electric Propulsion System

This system reduces the total cost of operation and maintenance, and at the same time safeguards the environment as it reduces the discharge of toxic gases. The diesel-electric propulsion system also makes the vessel easier to manoeuvre. Both the shipyard and the shipping company believe that this system comes more into its own on an anchor handling vessel than on a PSV, as the work done is based more on waiting time.

“Bourbon Orca” has been named “Ship of the Year 2006”. The award ceremony took place at the SUM Show in Hamburg late in September. Ulstein Verft AS has now been hired to build a large construction vessel for Island Offshore. Ulstein SX121 is the first special vessel designed by Ulstein Design AS.

Norwegian Hull Club is very concerned about safety at sea, and we recognise the true value of those who think innovatively about sea safety. We congratulate Bourbon Offshore Norway and Ulstein Verft on receiving the “Ship of the Year 2006” award, and not least on their new and safe vessel.


3. Dec. 2006