Sea trials of the cable-laying vessel Nexans Aurora


Last Wednesday, May 5, saw the start of sea trials of the new generation cable laying vessel Nexans Aurora built for Nexans Subsea Operations. The ship’s hull was built in Gdynia.

The Nexans Aurora cable layer, with a DP3-class dynamic positioning system, was built to the ST-297 CLV (Cable Laying Vessel) design from Alesund-based marine design and consulting firm Skipsteknisk.

Nexans’ Technical Manager, Knut Flage, says that “blackouts are not uncommon on sea trials, but so far, we have experienced nothing of the kind on ‘Nexans Aurora’”. Knut explains that the shipyard, Ulstein Verft, has done a thorough job from the start, and the result of this is now experienced. “This way of working is not always the standard, many shipbuilding projects do not prioritize enough the testing and run throughs at the yard. And this often results in more complicated sea trials.”

The success of the sea trial so far is also a big thank you to the suppliers. “High quality components, delivery on time and the overall composition of the work being done has resulted in far less errors than is usual on sea trials like this. A lot of the hard work has been up to this point,” Knut says, “now, we get the opportunity to enjoy the view around us between the tests.”

“But still”, he explains, “there is always some excitement, when all the systems are tested together and over time. The sea trial will continue for a few more days, but at this point everything has run smoothly”.

We are very pleased with the composition of the solution – says Frode Beyer, who is Nexans’ Project Manager. He follows up by saying: This vessel is sophisticated, yet conventional. She is designed for her tasks but using well tested components and solutions from quality suppliers.

The sea trials, which will probably be completed in the first half of this week, will be followed by the further outfitting of the vessel, the remaining painting work and then its delivery to the shipowner.

With a length of 149.9 m, a width of 31 m and a deadweight of 17,000 t, the Nexans Aurora is one of the largest ships ever built by Ulstein Verft. It is a vessel prepared to work in harsh weather conditions all over the world. Its first task will be to install cables at the Seagreen offshore wind farm, whose construction will begin in 2021. When completed, Seagreen will be the largest wind farm in Scotland.

In 2018, Crist SA signed a contract with Ulstein Verft for the hull construction of the Nexans Aurora cable-lay ship. The completed hull was towed out of the Crist premises in Gdynia to the Norwegian yard in June 2020.

rel. Ulstein

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