Two years later than originally planned, Royal IHC has handed over the J-lay vessel Amazon to McDermott International. After an intensive sea trial programme, the conversion project officially came to an end. The patented J-lay system installed has a dynamic top tension capacity of 1500 tonnes and can handle a variety of pipes.

Royal IHC won the contract for the conversion in August 2018. When the contract was signed, delivery of the upgraded J-lay vessel was scheduled for summer of 2020. However, the Amazon arrived at IHC later than planned, in December 2019 instead of August 2019. In addition, the conversion also took longer than the originally planned ten months.

The vessel was finally handed over on Wednesday the 31st of August, 2022. Following the signing of the transfer documentation, the vessel can now commence its first assignment in West Africa.

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Conversion project

For this project, Royal IHC has converted Amazon into the modern and state of the art J-lay vessel it is today. The patented J-lay system can handle pipes such as normal flowlines, export lines and pipe-in-pipe configurations, ranging in size from 4.5 to 25 inches in diameter and inline assemblies. It can lay pipelines in water depths of up to 3500 metres.

Other modifications include highly automated onboard operation processes for optimised safety performance and production efficiency. This also resulted in a reduced number of staff requirements for process supervision.

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Ultra-deepwater asset

As McDermott’s only J-lay vessel with a holding capacity of 10,000 tonnes of pipe on board, and ability to produce hex joints from single or double joints in the multi-joint facility, the company gains a unique key asset to its fleet for ultra-deepwater projects.

‘Completing the Amazon conversion has been challenging at times,’ says Jan-Pieter Klaver, CEO Royal IHC. ‘However, we remain incredibly proud of her and the teams on both sides whose collaboration made this possible. This project compelled us to design a one of a kind system, with specifications that can redefine the pipelaying industry and the worlds understanding of what is possible in ultra-deepwater construction. Redelivering the Amazon is the outcome of dedication, knowledge and passion of all those involved.’

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