The Brazilian port of Vitoria, where the vessels will load pipe, dictates a maximum vessel length of 146m. En route, the pipelay vessels must also pass a bridge with an air draft restriction of 48m. Normally, the kind of flex-lay tower required would result in an air draft of over 50m. Therefore, the height and length restrictions called for a customised, integrated solution in which the tower could be lowered – without taking up deck space. The answer: tilting the top part of the tower. The abandon and recovery (A&R) post, top aligner and tower top crane can be tilted to the correct position within minutes.
Moreover, the vertical lay tower is positioned directly aft of the accommodation and over the moon pool. Its synchronised tilting cylinders, supported by the accommodation superstructure, can move it between 80-90 degrees. This arrangement allows for a large worktable to carry out activities on pipes and pipe ends, leaving an additional large free deck area.