Ultra Deep Solutions is working to build and operate a fleet of world-class vessels with the ability to enhance the efficiency and safety of the offshore construction industry
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager: Matthew Cole-Wilkin
The past 14 months have proven to be a particularly exciting time for Ultra Deep Solutions, developing the biggest construction DP3 deep-diving vessel in the world and a project that will put the Company on the map as the go-to in the industry. The vessel will have the capability to conduct dives up to 600 meters - the first of its kind - with research still ongoing, many exciting developments are being made to the technologies used within Ultra Deep’s ship.
“Our vessel is being designed by Norwegian designers, Salt, at 161 metres long and with a 600 and 100 tonne crane,” explains Jithu Sukumaran, General Manager at Ultra Deep Solutions. “Alongside the sheer size of the vessel, we will also be the first in the world to have a well intervention and a flexipipe lay combined tower which will add exponential value to our one of a kind fleet.”
Ultra Deep Solutions is becoming particularly well known for its ability to build state-of-the-art DP3s, the original aim being to grow the businesses reputation in the industry through the creation of these vessels.
Alongside this new-found reputation are the core competencies of the Company, with specific divisions to cover all aspects of the market, such as subsea diving, offshore construction and ship building - the area in which Jithu Sukumaran is in charge.
“The team of approximately 50 people headed by Shel Hutton with the focus on constructing the vessels,” continues Sukumaran. “However, UDS also run ship building consultancy services for external clients, including technical specifications and contract assistance, review and system engineering assistance.”
The Company’s core consultancy is of course ship building, involved in five vessels now and providing clients with subsea support services and a range of activities including reaching offshore installation and construction inspection of maintenance for existing pipeline facilities.
“Currently our first vessel is on schedule to be delivered at the end of June,” affirms Sukumaran. “Lichtenstein - the name of our vessel - will be travelling to Malaysia for six months once it is finished, the first of our exciting new collection.”
Founded in 2014, the Ultra Deep solutions has come a very long way over the course of just three years, now with multiple vessel launches on the horizon including DP3 Van Gogh in April 2018,Andy Warhol in July 2018 and Mattisee in 2019.
“We have worked hard to become reliable specialists in the design, construction and operation of world-class ultra deep diving heavy construction vessels for the offshore industry,” Sukumaran adds. “Now our expertise in both onshore and offshore provides top quality offshore-related services and knowledge to clients, consistently delivering high standards.”
Investment in technology
The Company was very lucky to have a creator Mr.Sheldon Hutton, who with him brought few talented young minds for the development of the company. With his support, Ultra Deep Solutions has been able to tap into the best possible technology available, also working with world renowned partners such as MAN Germany, KONGSBERG NORWAY, ROLLSROYCE NORWAY, MCGREGOR, and reputed designers from Norway.
Sukumaran describes: “Van Gogh has been designed according to the class notation of achieving a clean design, alongside SPS codes and the pivotal importance placed on achieving a low fuel consumption, subsequently reducing emissions for the environment and focusing on the clean environment and technology.
“Our vessel is designed with the purpose of fulfilling an array of duties, including diving operations with 18 men - single bell SAT dive systems, 24 men twin bell sat systems, AHC cranes and seabed construction work.”
Additionally, the ship will be arranged with twin work ROV with Active Heave LARS available in the hangar, while it will also be able to perform the field support duties expected of a subsea construction vessel that is available for deployment worldwide.
Similarly Andy Warhol, the Company’s state-of-the-art diving and construction vessel, which was designed to meet the specific needs of the offshore market, firefighting capabilities and also using extremely efficient azimuth thrusters and a system for dynamic positioning.
Sukumaran continues: “In keeping with our entire range of ships, Andy Warhol is being created with the employment of a clean design in mind, and with that setting the industry standard for the way that subsea vessels should be designed in the future.”
Future fleet developments
In order to continuously carry out such high standards of work in the industry, Ultra Deep Solutions ensures that it is hiring experienced people to fill the highly-skilled roles.
“We have specialist roles that need specific training, for example our divers and engineers need constant training to ensure that they remain up to date with the latest industry trends,” explains Sukumaran. “As a Company we are particularly focused on offering chances to train as well as promotions up the ladder, we have found that this appeals to young people and provides them with the chance to train in all aspects of the vessels and grow within the Company.”
As Ultra Deep Solutions is based in Singapore, a large proportion of its staff are Singaporean, with foreign talent brought in for the particularly specialised jobs from all over the world. Staffing of the vessels does slightly vary, mostly dependant on where the ship itself will be based.
“The market that we are working in can be slow at times, however, there are a lot of fleet developments happening,” concludes Sukumaran. “I believe by 2019 there will be a plethora of opportunities for us to work with a wider range of companies, moving forward we are heading into a particularly exciting time for the Company.”