Aker awarded subsea cable installation contract in Barents Sea

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February 3, 2011

ABB has awarded Aker Solutions’ wholly-owned subsidiary Aker Marine Contractors the contract to install its subsea power cable for the Goliat field in the Barents Sea.

Aker Marine Contractors will install the cable utilising its new-build subsea installation and construction vessel, AMC Connector. She will install 106,5 kilometres of cable – in one length – stretching from Hammerfest, Norway, offshore to the Goliat  FPSO.

The subsea power cable, supplied by ABB, will weigh approximately 6 000 tonnes. The AMC Connector – previously called Aker Connector – will easily take this in one load as she will be equipped to handle a total payload of 9 000 tonnes, divided onto two turntables for high voltage power cables or subsea umbilicals.

“With her high payload capacity, AMC Connector will be a great asset to ABB. She is well equipped to install long, heavy subsea power cables,” says Svein Haug, president of Aker Marine Contractors, who will operate the vessel.

“The vessel will also have unique wave motion characteristics which will provide increased project execution predictability in areas such as the Barents Sea, where we often encounter rough seas,” adds Haug.

AMC Connector’s design enables her to operate safely and efficiently in significantly higher waves than most other high-end construction vessels. AMC Connector will comfortably operate in significant wave height (Hsig) of 4-5 metres, which means that she will have an operating window at the leading edge for installation and construction vessels.

Aker Marine Contractors will also provide and install a permanent tether anchor for the subsea power cable.

Contract value for management and execution of the project is approximately NOK 70 million.  This excludes vessel costs, which are covered under the charter agreement signed between Aker Marine Contractors and ABB in March 2010. The installation job will be performed in the second quarter of 2013.  Aker Solutions’ contract party is Aker Marine Contractors AS.

AMC Connector is currently being built by STX Europe and will be outfitted at their yard at Søviknes, Norway. She will be ready for operations from Q1 2012.

The vessel will be owned 50/50 by Aker Solutions and Singapore-based Ezra Holdings Ltd (Ezra), which recently acquired 100 percent of the shares in Aker Solutions’ subsidiary Aker Marine Contractors AS. As part of the agreement, Aker Solutions becomes a substantial shareholder in Ezra. The transaction is expected to be completed during Q1 2011.

By becoming part of Ezra, Aker Marine Contractors will have access to a larger and rapidly growing fleet of installation vessels covering all IMR and SURF installation segments – including flexible and rigid pipelay with capacity up to 3 500 metres water depth – which will enable Ezra/Aker Marine Contractors to compete with the world’s leading SURF contractors.

Ezra operates in the offshore market under the EMAS brand name. EMAS is an integrated offshore support solutions provider for the oil and gas industry. The business was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Singapore.

(Pictured: AMC Connector courtesy of Aker Solutions)

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