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Maiden success

MUCH more than goodwill flowed from this week’s launch and handover of the Abeer Thirty Eight at Cockburn Sound’s Australian Marine Complex.

Designed and constructed in-house by WaveMaster Inter-national, the offshore crew and supply vessel – the maiden product from the Henderson complex – has enhanced the company’s reputation plus that of WA and the newly branded facility.

Abeer Thirty Eight will service oil and gas platforms and rigs off Indonesia and Singapore.

It is the first such Australian-made industry support vessel to go into the South-East Asian oil and gas market, and one of four on order for Abeer Marine Services Limited, a subsidiary of Norwegian shipping and services company Wilh. Wilhelmsen.

The three-engined Abeer Thirty Eight is well-designed for emergency delivery work, capable of transporting 45 tonnes of on-deck cargo to a rig at 30 knots and equipped with a 1,000 litre fire foam tank and 1,000 litre chemical dispersant tanks.

The vessel’s propulsion and shape make it more manoeuvrable than traditional service boats and also more stable in rough weather conditions.

The Abeer Thirty Eight was ordered six months ago by Abeer Marine Services, following a similar period of specifications talks.

WaveMaster production design manager Steve Chapple said the company’s competitive quick-delivery advantage had been significantly boosted by the use of technology that enabled designers and engineers to build a whole boat in virtual reality.

The company used the aerospace Unigraphics technology – also used by Boeing, NASA and General Motors – plus specific shipbuilder software created entirely in-house.

WaveMaster’s software enabled the company to complete drawing processes that would normally take two days in less than one minute.

Virtual parallel design, construction and troubleshooting features also shortcut the construction and commissioning stages.

Mr Chapple said while Wavemaster was previously known as an aluminium ferry builder, it would now be recognised as a support vessel supplier.

“There has been a lot of interest in this boat, including from overseas competitors,” he said.

Wavemaster International general manager, contracts and project finance Eric Henning confirmed other shipbuilding nations, including Germany and the Netherlands, had visited Cockburn Sound to determine what it offered.

Wavemaster managing director Chris Gerrard said Wilhelmsen directors would also be visiting the company next month.

The Norwegian company had more ideas and was looking at an extended version of the boat.

“We’re confident of selling a lot of these boats,” Mr Gerrard said.

“We resolved a lot of issues with crewboats by talking with captains and crews.

“Companies are now wanting to look after employees better and a quality fit-out is a huge selling point”.

Mr Gerrard said significant changes in the oil and gas sector would also boost business for WaveMaster

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