Italian-based energy and telecoms systems provider Prysmian Group has announced plans for two further cable-laying vessels (CLVs) to meet the growing demand for submarine cable systems for interconnections and offshore wind farm projects.
The first vessel, to be designed and built by Norwegian shipyard Vard, a subsidiary of Fincantieri Group, will be built to the yard’s 9 18 design, especially designed for advanced subsea operations, but also an “evolution” in the existing Monna Lisa class of vessels which began with Leonardo Da Vinci in 2022. It will have a length of approximately 185 metres, breadth 34 metres and come equipped with an array of cable installation solutions, including three carousels with a total capacity of 19,000 tonnes. Although dwarfed by the 28,000 tonnes capacity of Jan De Nul’s Fleeming Jenkin, announced in October, it will still sit comfortably at the higher end of the CLV scale.
In addition, the new vessel will have a bollard pull of 180 tonnes, allowing it to perform complex installations such as the cable lay and burial of up to four cables simultaneously, deploying a variety of ploughs. Expected to be operational by 2027, it will also incorporate DP3 positioning and seakeeping technologies.
The second vessel, although no information of a contract has been shared at this stage, will likewise be an “evolution”, this time of its shallow-water barge Ulisse, the CLV Prysmian took delivery of in 2016. It will have a length of 167 metres, breadth 40 metres, and come with two carousels (one of them split in two concentric sections) for an overall cable loading capacity of 10,000 tonnes. Other features include DP2 positioning and an eight-point mooring system for shallow-water cable laying and burial installation. Delivery is projected for 1H 2025.
Prior to the announcement Prysmian has a fleet of six vessels in operation or pending: veteran CLV and former flagship Giulio Verne (built 1984), Cable Enterprise (built 2001, used for offshore wind installation), the aforementioned Ulisse, Leonardo Da Vinci (delivered last year) and its sister Monna Lisa (due early 2025), and the 67-meter-long ultra-shallow-water barge Barbarossa (delivered late 2021).