On 16 January 2009 Bayards and Samsung Heavy Industries signed an order for the delivery of 14 aluminium helidecks in calendar year 2010 – ten firm, four options, and all involving some novel and critical technology.
Bayards believes the commitment from Samsung is the largest single helideck order ever made. Peter Gritsch, manager of Bayard’s Italian subsidiary and pioneer in the Korean market explains it did not come unexpectedly; it was preceded by a long hard road of loyalty building. “Doing business in South Korea demands determination, dedication to service, establishing loyalty, and patience. Our efforts began long ago.”
The helidecks will be top of the range and made to the highest specifications. They will be manufactured in the Netherlands and assembled under self-build terms on-site by SHI with tight supervision by Bayards. The main components of the decks are extruded aluminium profiles which are then assembled and attached by special high-integrity bolt systems. Aluminium welding is today kept to a minimum. Able to take 21+ ton Chinooks, the structures will have a 3.25 safety factor inbuilt. The decks are of three basic designs and will be installed on two different types of offshore vessel.
There are several things special about the contract, explains Bayards project manager Tristan Mackintosh. “It was firstly remarkable that all 14 units were assigned to one manufacturer. And one design is scheduled for installation on the world’s first LNG FPSO. Safety regulations do not get stricter than on these new, designed but not yet built units.” The reason why? “LNG risk factors are arguably the highest in the maritime world. The decks will have to be large, strong and well separated physically from the FPSO hull, but also light enough they do not destabilize hull trim. Steel decks are often simply too heavy.”
One design will be fully winterised, with heated decks and a thousand and one other features to make the deck operable 24/7 in arctic conditions.