Romald Peeters

Project manager

‘These vessels are specifically designed for the job’


“Showing the client that everything works the way it was designed to during the sea trials; that is the best part of the job,” says Romald Peeters. He was project manager during the engineering and construction phase of the SAPURA DIAMANTE and the SAPURA TOPÁZIO. 
“These vessels were the first offshore pipelaying vessels that were entirely designed and constructed by Royal IHC. On other vessels, the client itself supplied parts of the main equipment such as the flex lay tower, which it orders from a third party and results in additional interfaces to be managed by the customer. This time around we were responsible for the entire vessel including the mission equipment and control systems.” 
Integrated approach
The advantages for the client of ordering everything at IHC are evident. Romald: “Sapura has one point of contact during the project and doesn’t have to go back and forth between suppliers. Moreover, these vessels are specifically designed for the job. The vessel, the equipment and the interfaces are engineered to perfectly complement one another.”
An example can be found in the pipelay tower. “One of the design criteria for the vessels was a maximum air draft of 48 meters, needed to pass under a bridge. In existing designs these towers were supported towards the aft-deck and they tilt towards the deck to get below 48m. We came up with a design in which the tower itself is supported by the accommodation structure. The top of the tower can be folded to comply with the airdraft requirement. This solution has resulted in more free deck space aft of the tower and hence in more operational flexibility compared to the previous designs. This could only be efficiently achieved because of our integrated approach.”
Another example of integrated approach is the advanced vessel automation system. “This system has integrated the power management, propulsion control, positioning and monitoring systems. At IHC, Something like that hadn’t been done before on such a large scale.” 
In total 21 units within IHC have actively contributed to these gems. Romald: “The main challenge for me as a project manager was to get all the units aligned in terms of technology, planning and logistics.” Romald succeeded. The SAPURA DIAMANTE and the SAPURA TOPÁZIO were delivered on time in May and August 2014, within 2,5 years after signing the contracts. “More importantly, the client was content with our approach and awarded IHC with another contract for three additional integrated pipelaying vessels to be built between 2013 and 2016.”
Always a next challenge
Romald in the meantime has gone on to become manager Services at IHC IQIP. “That is one of the things I love about working at IHC. There is always a next challenge you can sink your teeth into.”