DCV Balder

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The DCV Balder is a Deepwater Construction Vessel (DCV) operated by Heerema Marine Contractors. It was constructed in 1978 by Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. as semi-submersible crane vessel. In 2001 it was converted to a DCV by Verolme Botlek BV in the Netherlands[1].

The Balder has two cranes (3600 t, 2700 t). In the course of the conversion it was equipped with a class III Dynamic Positioning system for position keeping. It is fitted with seven 3,500 kW azimuth thrusters and two propellers.

During the conversion, a Mooring Line Deployment winch was installed, the largest in the world,[2] with a diameter of 10.5 meters and a Safe Working Load (SWL) of 275 t.

In 2002 a J-Lay tower, designed and constructed by Huisman Itrec, was installed. It is capable of laying pipe in water depths to 3,000 m (10,000 ft).

The hull consists of two floaters with three columns each. Transit draught is ±12 meters. For lifting operations it will normally be ballasted down to 25 meters, so the floaters (with a draught of 12 meters) are well-submerged, to reduce the effect of waves and swell.

It is able to accommodate 350 persons.


Length overall 154 meters
Breadth 86 meters
Breadth (incl. J-Lay) 118 meters
Max. draught 27 meters
Depth to workdeck 42 meters
Height J-Lay tower to workdeck 101 meters
Lightship weight 49,631 tonnes
Max. displacement 104,355 tonnes

Remarkable projects

  • In 1978 Occidental’s Piper Alpha was the first platform installation with a Semi Submersible Crane Vessel.
  • In 2005 the world's largest semi-submersible platform, BP's Thunder Horse, was installed.[3]
  • In 2005 it assisted in the uprighting of BP’s Thunder Horse, found listing dramatically after hurricane Dennis.[4]
  • In 2006 it installed BP’s Mardi Gras Atlantis gas export pipeline (0.6 m / 24 in diameter) in a record breaking water depth of 2220 meters (7217 feet).[5]
  • in 2007 it moored the Independence Hub Facility in a record breaking water depth of 2438 m (8000 ft), with a world record for the deepest flow line installation of 2743 m (9000 ft).[6]

See also


External links

de:DCV Balder nl:Balder (schip) pl:DCV Balder