One of Asia’s largest independent offshore ship broking and marine consultancy firms, M3 Marine, has been instrumental in the conceptualisation and development of a new vessel type – the compact semi-submersible (CSS).

The CSS concept was first envisaged some five years ago when offshore vessel operators and specialist subsea service providers came under increasing pressure to meet and exceed the expectations of oil operators who wanted significantly enhanced vessel operational capabilities (even under harsh environmental conditions) along with a sizeable amount of cost savings.

The operational and commercial advantages of having a vessel type offering the operational capacity of a large DSV, MSV or a semi-submersible in tandem with exceptional sea-keeping properties and improved payload carrying capacity, were immediately apparent.

However, as John Giddens, CEO of Hallin Marine Subsea International, succinctly comments, this was proving, ‘elusive to the subsea industry’. Hallin Marine recognised potential in the CSS concept and was keen to fill this ‘gap’ in the subsea industry.

Captain Mike Meade, founder and managing director of M3 Marine, who has held a long and successful relationship with client, Hallin Marine, introduced Robin Reeves (now of
MAC) who was also designing a twin-hulled ‘concept’ vessel and quickly assisted in merging this expertise.

With more than 25 years of offshore experience, Mike formed an integral part of the ‘brainstorming squad’ of Hallin and MAC (along with STX, the designers). Mike and M3 Marine were brought and retained onboard to contribute their expertise, particularly in subsea operations, early in the CSS design stage, and added quality direction and focus to the evolving design concept.

In a collaborative arrangement brokered by M3 Marine, the four co-owners, Hallin Marine, Minnow Marine Projects (now MAC), M3 Marine and STX Canada Marine strived to further refine the CSS concept and eventually transformed the concept into reality.

Mike, being an established offshore ship broker in his own right, eventually brokered the
USD110 million newbuilding contract between Hallin Marine and Drydocks World – SEA.

The newbuilding contract for “CSS Derwent”, inked in May 2010, is the culmination of five years worth of hard work marked by extensive design considerations, elaborate testing and rigorous yard and equipment selection processes.

Mike’s invaluable involvement and commitment displayed throughout the development of the CSS concept and CSS Derwent and continuous support, both commercially and
technically, is a true demonstration of M3 Marine’s dedication towards its clients and its commitment to adding value in the provision of its services.

M3 Marine is based in Singapore and offers offshore ship broking (sale and purchase and
time and bareboat chartering), and a range of commercially focused offshore services. Mike Meade states “…we draw upon our expertise and contacts to add value where it matters”.

Key features of CSS Derwent:

  • Length: 84m
  • Beam: 32m – twin hull gives enhanced working platform in beam seas
  • Accommodation for 152 persons
  • Purpose-built ROV and subsea intervention tooling control room
  • Deadweight of 3,800t
  • Deck cargo capacity at operational draft (8.2m) of 1,500t
  • 150t knuckle-boom offshore crane c/w active heave compensation
  • 200t SWL tower with 3,100m active heave compensation winch wire
  • 7.8m x 7.5m moon pool