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Ocea delivers all-aluminium OPV

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Ocea delivers all-aluminium OPV

Défense

Join us for a guided tour of the Fouladou, the first offshore patrol vessel by Ocea; also the largest aluminium OPV built in Europe and the Senegalese Navy’s new flagship.

OPV Fouladou was delivered to Dakar, its homeport, in November. This state-of-the-art vessel has a length overall of 58 metres, a beam of 9.4m and was built at Ocea’s shipyard at Sables d’Olonne on France’s Atlantic coast.

 

Commander Diawara on the bridge (© Mer et Marine - Vincent Groizeleau)

Commander Diawara on the bridge (© Mer et Marine - Vincent Groizeleau)

Wake watching (© Mer et Marine - Vincent Groizeleau)

Wake watching (© Mer et Marine - Vincent Groizeleau)

Stable and quiet

During trials, OPV Fouladou recorded a top speed of 26 knots aided by a slight current, 2 knots more than the contract specification. The ship is remarkably quiet and stable, even without using the Naiad stabilisers. Travelling at high speed, there is little vibration on the bridge and remarkably little noise, even with the outside door wide open. “The new platform’s stability and low noise levels are the result of know-how we’ve developed over a period of 30 years or more. We have plenty of experience in building aluminium hulls and proven design skills enabling us to deliver economical high-performance vessels that meet our clients’ needs at competitive construction costs. We invest a great deal in R&D and our in-house design team has the latest hardware and software, including digital simulation tools.”

“To optimise the design of this new-generation OPV, we tested no fewer than 27 hullforms. Soundproofing and noise control are also Ocea strengths. We focus on noise control from the beginning of the design phase, drawing on lessons learnt from every ship we’ve built. We introduced a number of innovations when designing the survey vessels we built for Indonesia and all proved highly successful,” said Fabrice Weinbach, Ocea’s head of Maritime Security & Safety.

 

Fabrice Weinbach, Ocea’s head of Maritime Security & Safety, and Paul-Éric Juin (© Mer et Marine)

Fabrice Weinbach, Ocea’s head of Maritime Security & Safety, and Paul-Éric Juin (© Mer et Marine)

Better than expected

The stability, speed and fuel consumption data recorded during the first few weeks of operational service exceeded expectations. The design team and everyone else at the Ocea shipyard was pleased to learn that in-service performance was better than the client’s specifications. Proud of its track record in patrol vessels ranging from 20 to 35 metres and others approaching 60 metres — most importantly the two OSV 190 survey vessels delivered to Indonesia in 2015 — Ocea is pleased indeed that its first OPV, with its decidedly different hullform compared to the OSVs, is proving such a success.

 

The Fouladou under construction at Ocea’s Sables d’Olonne shipyard (© Ocea)​​​​​​​

The Fouladou under construction at Ocea’s Sables d’Olonne shipyard (© Ocea)​​​​​​​

The many advantages of aluminium

Because aluminium hulls are lighter than steel ones, they require less power to achieve the same speed while burning less fuel. “For a standard mission profile of the type identified by the Senegalese Navy, and a 20-year lifetime, we calculated that an OPV like the Fouladou will burn 5 million litres less fuel and emit 37%, or 14,000 tonnes, less carbon dioxide than a steel-hulled vessel of the same size designed for the same missions. Aluminium’s fuel savings are thus a real benefit.”

“For operators who specify aluminium hulls, the choice also means vessels that are more respectful of the environment at a time when the international community is increasingly aware of climate change and the challenge of meeting the COP21 targets. In this respect, the benefits of aluminium go far beyond reduced fuel consumption. Aluminium-hulled ships also consume less oil and far less paint as the corrosion-free metal does not have to be constantly repainted. While it is true that aluminium production is energy intensive, it is also true that its recycling is more efficient. Aluminium can be recycled up to ten times, compared to three for steel. Also, each recycling requires just 5% of the energy needed for initial production.”

 

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