Contracting Strategy - Marine Operations

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4. Marine Operations

The Hebron GBS Marine Operations scope will require the acquisition of a number of different types of vessels, as well as other marine work while GBS construction continues at the Deep Water Site. Major marine activities include:

New Barge Construction

The Hebron Project committed to build one or more barges totaling more than 1860 tonnes of steel construction work within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Based on an established strategy, the provision of these barges was based on a regular Charter Party (CP) with an experienced barge owner and operator.

The barges were intended for GBS construction support. KKC followed a competitive bid process, contract award was in Q3-2012 and the work is now complete.

Deep Water Site Mooring system

The Deep Water Site Mooring system consists of nine (9) lines connected to anchor points on shore. All lines are made up of standard 120mm anchor chain and the tensioning of the system was done by shortening some or all lines by using mooring tension buoys. An Installation Vessel was hired to complete this work.

KKC issued an EOI in late 2012. The Installation Vessel contract was awarded in early Q3-2013 and this work is now complete.

GBS Construction Support Vessels

During the construction of the GBS at the DWS a significant amount of marine logistics and support is required.

The Marine Operations team is responsible to mobilize, manage and operate necessary equipment. Such equipment includes:

  • Tugs for handling of barges
  • Barges permanently moored to GBS at the DWS
  • Shuttle barges for material supply
  • Ferries for personnel transport
  • Fast Rescue Crafts
  • Other smaller work crafts

Utilizing procurement market intelligence, a broker was engaged in 2012 to perform detailed market research for vessels and equipment.  The procurement process for the supply of barges, tugs and other vessels began in 2012. Given that there would be common suppliers, the strategy was to combine as many marine vessels as possible under these packages. Completion of a competitive bid process saw frame agreements for these vessels awarded in 2013. The vessels were required to be on site and fully outfitted in 2014.

If a need for further non-specialized barges and smaller vessels is identified, they will generally be awarded through an RFP process under existing frame agreements.

Two barges are required to transfer the completed Topsides structure from the assembly pier to the deep water site and into position for mating. The contract for the topsides barges, which were long lead items procured on the international market, was awarded in Q3-2013.

Outfitting of Barges

KKC required marine outfitting for a number of vessels, including:

  • Batch Plant Barge
  • Tension Barge
  • Power Barge
  • Access Barge
  • Various Raft Barges

The procurement process for marine outfitting facilities took place in 2012. Following a competitive bid process, a number of frame agreements were put in place, and work orders were carried out throughout 2013 and 2014.

The remaining miscellaneous minor outfitting will be awarded under existing frame agreements.

The two barges noted above to transfer the Topsides to the Deep Water Site will be outfitted with grillage to ensure the barges are structurally able to support the Topsides. This scope of work will follow a competitive bid process. The contract for this grillage fabrication and installation scope is expected to be awarded late 2015.

GBS Solid Ballasting

Solid ballast installation commenced in 2014 and was completed in mid-2015. The contract for supply of iron ore solid ballast material was awarded in Q2 2014 following a competitive bid process.

Mating Vessels

When the Hebron GBS and Topsides are completed, the mating of the Topsides onto the GBS will take place.

While the size and specification of the tug fleet for the mating operation is to be finalized, it is expected to consist of up to 3 towing vessels ranging in size from approximately 150 - 200 tons bollard pull and up to 5 tractor tugs ranging in size from approximately 30 - 50 tons bollard pull. The procurement process for the tug fleet will follow a competitive bid process and is expected to commence in early 2016.

Tow to Field and Installation Vessels

Once the hook-up phase at the deep water site is completed, the Hebron platform will be towed to field and installed at its final location on the Grand Banks.

While the size and specification of the towing fleet for the tow to field and installation operations are yet to be finalized, it is expected to consist of up to 10 towing vessels ranging in size from approximately 170 - 250 tons bollard pull. One of the vessels will be required for subsea intervention activities and is planned to be equipped with 2 work class ROVs and a heave compensated crane, size to be determined. The competitive bid process for the towing fleet is underway, with contract award expected mid-2016.