The Saipem Group possesses a strong, technologically advanced and highly versatile fleet as well as world class engineering and project management expertise. These unique capabilities and competences, together with a long-standing presence in strategic frontier markets, represent an industrial model that is particularly well suited to EPCI projects.
The end of the first half of 2013 saw the Castorone – the new 330-metre long, 39-metre wide mono-hull pipelay vessel equipped with a class 3 dynamic positioning (DP) system, an S-lay system and features allowing for the installation of a J-lay tower – begin to operate. After the vessel had successfully completed initial shallow water tests however, technical issues required deep-water testing to be extended. As mentioned in the profit warning issued on June 14, 2013, additional maintenance work was also required to replace defective parts that were compromising the vessel’s productivity.
The Castorone has been designed for challenging large-diameter, deep-water pipelay projects, but it also possesses the flexibility and productivity necessary for effective deployment on less complex projects.
The vessel’s distinctive features include a class 3 DP system, the capacity to fabricate and lay triple joint pipes of up to 48” in diameter (60” including coating) with a tensioning capacity of up to 750 tonnes (up to 1,500 tonnes in conditions of pipe flooding using a special patented clamp), a highly automated firing line made up of 7 workstations (3 welding and 4 completion/inspection stations), an articulated stinger for pipelaying in shallow and deep-water with an advanced control system, and the capacity to operate in extreme environments (Ice Class A0).
Meanwhile, the current trend for deep-water field developments continues to drive the success of the FDS 2, which is a 183-metre long, 32-metre wide mono-hull equipped with a cutting-edge class 3 DP system and a pipeline fabrication system. The FDS 2 has a vertical J-lay tower with a holding capacity of 2,000 tonnes capable of laying quad joint sealines of up to 36” in diameter and also possesses the capability to operate in S-lay mode.
With its 1,000 tonne crane and two 750 and 500 tonne capstan winches (the latter featuring a heave compensation system), the FDS 2 is suited to even the most challenging of deep-water projects.
Saipem’s fleet of technologically advanced vessels also includes the Saipem 7000, which is equipped with a dynamic positioning system, has a 14,000-tonne lifting capacity, is capable of laying subsea pipelines in ultra-deep waters using the J-lay system and can handle a suspended load of up to 1,450 tonnes during pipelay operations. The fleet further comprises the Castoro Sei, a semi-submersible pipelay vessel capable of laying large diameter subsea pipelines, the Field Development Ship (FDS), which is a special purpose vessel used in the development of deep-water fields, equipped with a dynamic positioning system, a 600-tonne lifting capacity crane and a vertical pipelaying system capable of operating in water depths of over 2,000 metres and the Saipem 3000, which is capable of laying flexible pipelines and installing umbilicals and mooring systems in deep-waters and installing subsea structures of up to 2,200 tonnes.
Saipem is involved on an ongoing basis in the management and development of its fleet, carrying out constant maintenance and continuous upgrading and improvement of its assets in line with technological developments and client requirements, with the aim of maintaining its operating capacity and high safety standards in a continuously evolving market.
During the year, work continued in Brazil for the development of a fabrication yard for subsea and floating facilities, as well as a logistics base on a 35 hectare area purchased in October 2011 located in the district of Guarujá. The works are expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2014, as per schedule. The area is situated strategically at about 350 km from the Santos Basin, the offshore Brazilian region where Pre-Salt fields have been discovered in ultra-deep water, and at 650 km from the Campos Basin, the most important offshore basin in Brazil.
Saipem’s work in the new yard will complement the services offered by the highly specialised ultra-deep water fleet that the Company has developed over the last few years and will also enable Saipem to meet the particularly stringent local content requirements imposed in Brazil in the hi-tech ultra-deep water development sector.
During the year, the Karimun fabrication yard in Indonesia continued construction work on various Group projects.
Saipem also enjoys a strong position in the subsea market, thanks to its use of highly sophisticated technologies, such as subsea ROVs and specially equipped robots capable of carrying out complex deep-water pipeline operations.
Finally, the Company is also active in the Leased FPSO sector, with a fleet comprising the Cidade de Vitoria, and the Gimboa.