On 4 April 2012 the keel was laid of Fugro Seacore and Van Oord’s large walking jack-up barge WaveWalker. Wavewalker BV Business Managers’ Jelle Mens and Les Lugg performed the keel-laying ceremony at the Neptune Shipyard in Hardinxveld-Giessendam, the Netherlands. The keel-laying is the first milestone in the construction process.
The innovative large walking jack-up barge, WaveWalker 1, is being developed by Fugro and Van Oord to move and operate in rough seas, surf zones, beaches and other intertidal locations. A 50:50 joint venture company, WaveWalker BV, is being registered in The Netherlands and the two companies are working together on the design, construction and operation of the jack-up which is set to begin operating in the field later in 2012 on drilling and blasting works for the new Brazilian Suape Outer Channel, a contract recently won by Van Oord.
“Currently the assembling of the different sections is in full progress,” explains Fugro Seacore’s & WaveWalker BV’s Business Manager, Les Lugg. “WaveWalker is an innovative jack-up that can be operated in conventional 4-legged mode, or as an 8-legged self-contained walking jack-up platform, capable of safely operating and bi-directional movement whilst elevated. This will bring great market advantages when undertaking geotechnical site investigations, drilling, trenching, pipeline and cable laying, blasting and other underwater work.”
Jelle Mens, General Manager Wicks, Van Oord’s business unit responsible for Marine Drilling and Blasting and WaveWalker BV Business Manager continued, “Indeed, WaveWalker 1 will boost the productivity of a variety of our traditional barge and jack-up operations as we can now undertake our drilling and blasting works from a stable platform with the added benefit of relocation without floating. This reduces the impact of sea conditions on the operational hours required for the anticipated drill and blast operations in Brazil.”
The development of the walking jack-up concept has been thoroughly tested over 14 years by Fugro Seacore in heavy seas, surf and high winds. The concept has been successfully used in activities such as installing pipelines through surf zones, excavating trenches, geotechnical drilling and drilling and blasting in areas where floating equipment or conventional jack-ups would experience extensive delays due to weather down-time. It also offers safety advantages over operating floating equipment in nearshore, large swell locations.
Size: 32m x 32m x 4.5m
Moon pool: 17m x 9m with full cover if required
Payload: 400 tons
Marine construction crane: 100 tons @ 6.5m – 17.61 tons @ 32m
Assisting crane: 10 tons at 20m
8 legs: 1.80m x 40m long
Fugro Seacore jacking system c/w air-inflated grippers
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