Orca-class newbuild tech puzzles falling into place
One-by-one, the puzzles for the SAL Heavy Lift newbuild Orca-class heavy lift multipurpose vessels are falling into place. Liebherr was tagged to deliver two 800-ton cranes specifically designed for this ship type can handle cargo items weighting up to 1,600 tons in tandem. Wärtsilä was then commissioned to deliver the hybrid propulsion system, and now Sperry Marine has secured the contract to deliver complete navigation systems for four vessels under construction for SAL Heavy Lift at WuHu shipyard, China.
Sperry Marine’s VM Net bridge system provides connected navigation and can be supported remotely, reducing the requirement for in-person service calls. The NAVIGAT 3500 fibre optic gyrocompass provides highly accurate pitch/heave information which is particularly important for safe operations under loaded conditions.
NAVIGAT 3500 can also contribute to fuel efficiency gains, supporting course optimisation using Sperry’s NAVIPILOT 4500N autopilot, which is proven to reduce rudder drag, further improving the performance of the vessels.
HAL’s new vessels will feature methanol-ready propulsion systems and zero emission port operations thanks to ‘cold-ironing’ connections to shoreside electricity.
“We have designed our ORCA-class ships to be the most efficient vessels in their class with fuel consumption and carbon emission figures far superior to any existing heavy lift vessels,” said Martin Harren, owner and CEO of SAL Heavy Lift. “Our decision to select Sperry Marine as our navigation solutions partner was based on their ability to deploy systems that meet our demanding requirements.”
“This agreement demonstrates Sperry Marine’s ability to support the primary goals of SAL’s newbuilding programme, providing advanced solutions for safety of navigation as well as greater vessel efficiency and fuel savings,” said James Collett, Managing Director, Sperry Marine. “Equipping these highly-specialised ships calls for a unique blend of technical expertise and close co-ordination between SAL and Sperry’s global teams.”
Construction kicked off in China
Following a long and extensive planning phase, the construction of the Orca newbuilding series for the SAL Heavy Lift kicked off. The first steel cut was conducted at the WuHu Shipyard in China on March 22, for the first vessel, currently named W2231.
The expected delivery date for the first vessel on July 5, 2024. The steel cutting for the second vessel in the series, W2232, took place during the same week already.