The installation of the containerised Wärtsilä 1,450 kW battery hybrid package on the Harvey Energy is expected to reduce overall fuel costs by 10 to 20 percent. (credit: ABS)
With the Harvey Energy fresh out of sea trials, owner Harvey Gulf International Marine has announced that eight more of its offshore support vessels will be retrofitted with battery systems.
Four dual-fuel LNG platform supply vessels (PSVs), three conventional PSVs and one dual-fuel LNG multi-purpose support vessel (MPSV) are slated for retrofiting.
New Orleans-based Harvey Gulf International Marine announced in 2019 that it was installing a battery hybrid system on the Harvey Energy, the first such conversion in the US and the first classed by ABS. The installation of the containerised Wärtsilä 1,450 kW battery hybrid package using Corvus Energy technology is expected to reduce overall fuel costs by 10 to 20%. The battery capacity will be enough to sail in and out of harbour on electric power with fewer engines running, while also supplementing hotel load electricity when docked. The ability to operate on battery power will also add redundancy during dynamic positioning operations at offshore platforms.
The dual-fuel LNG PSVs being converted, Harvey America, Harvey Liberty, Harvey Power and Harvey Freedom, are sister ships to the Harvey Energy and are all supporting Shell’s deepwater operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The vessels are currently powered by three Wärtsilä 6L34DF dual-fuel gensets providing 7,530 kW.
Harvey Gulf International Marine is also in the process of installing a GE-integrated battery system on the diesel-electric PSV Harvey Champion, with batteries provided by Corvus Energy. This vessel is currently powered by 4 x Cummins QSK60DM 16 Tier II engines providing 7,300 kW. Sister ship Harvey Supporter and the CAT-powered diesel-electric PSVs Harvey Hawk and Harvey Condor will subsequently also be retrofitted with battery systems.
Additionally, the MPSV Harvey Sub-Sea will be fitted with two battery systems, making it the only MPSV in the US with dual-fuel and battery power. The vessel is currently powered by 4 x Wärtsilä 6L32 engines providing 12,680 kW.
With the new retrofits, Harvey Gulf International Marine aims to own and operate the world’s largest fleet of battery hybrid OSVs, but it is not alone in its battery ambitions. Houston-based Tidewater, Aberdeen-based Atlantic Offshore and Norway-based Island Offshore are undertaking battery-hybrid propulsion upgrade programs, and with the acquisition of SEACOSCO Offshore in June, Louisiana-based SEACOR Marine has augmented its fleet with eight PSVs, six of which are equipped with battery energy storage systems. SEACOSCO Offshore’s diesel-electric PSVs Seacosco Congo and her sister ships are powered by two MTU 12V4000M33S diesel engines and two MTU 8V4000M33S diesel engines, and they have a containerised battery system from integrator Rolls-Royce Marine (Kongsberg) with batteries supplied by Corvus Energy.
Equinor pioneered contracts that stipulated offshore support vessels with hybrid battery operation back in 2017, and the major continues to expand its green contract commitments. Shell also has a vision for battery systems to be industry standard in the future. As well as the environmental benefits, DNV GL notes that Norway-based Eidesvik Offshore’s pioneering PSV Viking Lady has increased responsiveness as a battery hybrid, something that has proved to be particularly advantageous in heavy weather.