Product tanker built to high specification for European coastal trade

‘Kestrel Fisher’ is designed and built for Northern European coastal service ‘Kestrel Fisher’ is designed and built for Northern European coastal service
Industry Database

Damen Shipyards’ ‘series production’ philosophy, which has proved so successful in the workboat, tug and patrol craft markets, is successfully transferring to coastal and short sea shipping as demand grows for high-quality and cost-effective smaller tonnage built to meet the latest environmental standards.

At the end of 2013, the latest small oil tanker built by Damen Shipyards entered service. The Kestrel Fisher is the second of a pair of Damen Double Hull Oil Tanker 8000 type ships, sister to King Fisher which had been handed over earlier in the year.

The pair was built by Damen Shipyards Bergum for Dutch manager De Opfeart Beheer. The names reflect the fact that the ships are part of the James Fisher Everard fleet of small tankships. JFE, which is responsible for the commercial management of the vessels, is part of the diverse UK-based James Fisher group, which provides specialist services to the marine industry as well as having interests in defence, energy, oil and gas, renewable, nuclear, construction and transport industries.

The old-established FT Everard company, with a 40-year-plus history in tanker operation, became part of the James Fisher group in 1997, at the same time as oil and gas company Buchan Technical Services. Today the FTE fleet comprises some 18 double hulled product tankers, of 3,000dwt to 11,000dwt, trading along the European coastline carrying varied liquid cargoes including petroleum products, diesel, kerosene and biofuels. The traffic consists of fuels carried from the refineries and large terminals to costal storage facilities, many of which are on remote islands, and to far-flung communities for which the sea offers the only reliable and cost-effective means of supply.

Mindful of the unrelenting sea conditions around much of the northern European coastline, and the highly-regulated nature of the European shipping industry, the company aims for high standards, using only up-to-date, well-maintained ships in the command of experienced officers. Associated group company James Fisher Shipping Services, which provides crewing and technical management to the JFE fleet, says that the officers it provides are selected for their experience and local knowledge of sea conditions, ports, berth requirements and vessel / cargo operation. It claims that 90% of Masters are promoted from within and most have served the company for an average of 15 years.

Kestrel Fisher, like its sister ship, is of 7,076dwt and 8,363m³ capacity. The hulls were built by Damen’s Galati yard in Romania, and outfitted at the Damen Shipyards Bergum yard in Harlingen, the Netherlands. Both ships are built to trade along the UK coast and to Scandinavia, the Baltic coast and other northern European ports, carrying mostly gasoline, diesel oil, lubrication oil and jet fuels along the British Isles, the Continent and in Scandinavian and Baltic waters. Two other vessels in the JFE fleet were built at the Damen Bergum yard, the 2006-built Shannon Fisher and Solway Fisher, both of which are company owned rather than being in open management as is the case with the two latest deliveries.

The King Fisher and Kestrel Fisher represent the latest version of the Damen 8000 tanker design, the ‘8000’ designation referring to the cargo carrying capacity. This is the largest of the current range of standard coastal designs offered by the Bergum yard, although the company says it can handle vessels of up to 14,000dwt. As well as the range of product and gas tankers, the yard builds multi-purpose cargo ships in the Combi Freighter and Combi Coaster ranges, container feeder vessels and other specialised ships. Particular features of the Tanker 8000 basic design are said to be:

  • Maximum cargo hold volume in its class;
  • High levels of stability and corresponding ease of operation;
  • Good ratio of payload over deadweight;
  • High quality materials and equipment; and
  • Blend of straightforward design and modern crew comfort requirements.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and model testing have been applied to the design, resulting in an underwater shape offering low resistance and good seakeeping, combined with good carrying capability, while the application of finite element analysis (FEA) ensures structural integrity. Being part of a group in which shiprepair is an important element, Damen’s designs pay close attention to future repair and maintenance work, using 3D engineering techniques to facilitate routing and layout of the various systems. The in-house design is verified using, as well as tank testing, data from sea trials to provide analysis of stability, seakeeping, noise and vibration.

Although standardisation is important to Damen’s philosophy, a degree of flexibility is built into the designs so that owners’ choices of equipment and components can be incorporated, as part of the close cooperation between the group’s yards and its customers. This can extend as far as the scope of delivery: as well as completed ships, Damen is happy to supply vessels in prefabricated kit form, for completion and outfitting at other yards. This variation comes with all necessary assistance and backup, which the company regards as essential in order to maintain its quality standards.

Regarding the group’s general approach, as well as specific points about the tanker range, Erik Schultz, sales director of Damen Shipyards Bergum explains: “We design oil tankers up to 15,000 tons deadweight, which are then constructed at a yard in the Damen Shipyards Group. It is a Damen product, with the contracting and coordination done from our offices in the Netherlands. Equally, engineering and design of most, if not all cargo vessels, is concentrated at the DSBe head office in Bergum, be this dry cargo, gas or oil tankers or otherwise. This way we can assure the quality and the performance of the vessels at a true ‘Built in Europe’grade.”

Mr Schultz adds that his responsibility includes overseeing all cargo vessel newbuilding contracts within the Damen Shipyards Group, irrespective of where and how any vessel will actually be constructed.

Kestrel Fisher is of 104.52m length oa, and 17m moulded width. There are 10 cargo tanks, all epoxy coated, accommodating up to five segregations. Paints and coatings throughout are by International. The design allows for compliance with all latest regulations regarding cargo segregation and systems as well as the various downstream oil process requirements. A midships manifold with three crossovers allows for loading or discharging three grades simultaneously, and a further forward-positioned manifold handles two grades. The cargo deck area is protected by a foam system. Pipework and valves are by Econosto-Besi, and deepwell cargo pumps are from Marflex.

Damen says that it pays special attention to pipeline routing, loading and off-loading stations, flow velocities, intake and discharge rates. All cargo and ballast valves can be remotely hydraulically controlled from a centrally-located cargo control room for speed, convenience and safety in cargo handling. In similar fashion, additional cargo stations for intake and discharge of liquid cargoes are said to be located appropriately locations and optimised for ease of operation. The tank sounding and control systems were supplied by Scanjet Ariston. Maintenance of pipelines and valves has been considered as part of the design, with sections of the catwalks made easily removable to provide access for servicing.

The main engine, a MaK 8M25C rated for 2,640kW at 750rpm, drives a Scana Volda CP propeller through a reduction gearbox also supplied by Scana Volda, and fitted with a power take-off/power take-in  (PTO/PTI) coupled to a Stamford 530kVA shaft generator. The CuNiAl-construction propeller is of 3.85m diameter, while the engine is flexibly coupled to the gearbox, and mounted on flexible mounts to reduce vibration. The engine is equipped to run on HFO up to IF380, as well as MDO, and is designed to comply with IMO Tier II requirements. It employs a freshwater cooling system via a NRF box cooler. Waste heat from the engine is captured by heat exchangers, and used in the HFO pre-heaters, or for other onboard purposes. On sea trials, a speed of 12.3 knots was achieved at 90% MCR and summer draught.

Two Caterpillar diesel gensets, of 525kVa output, fuelled by MGO, provide auxiliary power, along with an 80kVA emergency genset mounted on the boat deck. Other auxiliary equipment includes three separate Westfalia purifier units for lube oil, MDO and HFO, a 1,500kW Aalborg thermal boiler for hearing HFO tanks and cargo tank cleaning, an Eefting booster unit, two Deno starting air compressors and a 20t/day freshwater generator from Alfa Laval, which also supplied the tank wash equipment. As well as a sewage treatment plant, Kestrel Fisher is equipped with an RWO bilge water separator meeting current Marpol regulations. The machinery spaces are protected by a CO2 and water mist extinguishing system. Pumps for fuel, foam and general services were supplied by Reikon-Azque.

The shaft generator is arranged so that in the case of a main engine problem, the auxiliary gensets can be immediately started and the shaft generator, in PTI mode, will provide up to 400kW of power to drive the propeller shaft.

For manoeuvring, an important consideration at the small ports and terminals on its route, Kestrel Fisher is equipped with a 400kW Veth electrically-driven bow thruster, fitted with a FP propeller.

All fuel tanks are mounted aft, loosely from the hull shell for safety reasons, with the HFO bunkers midships between the holds, with day and settling tanks in the engine room. A pneumatic electronic sounding system is installed for both tank level and draught gauging.

Three electrically-driven ballast systems, all employing Azque pumps, are installed: two general service pumps of 150m³/h at 1.5 bar in the engine room area; two ballast pumps of 400 m³/h at 2.5 bar in the cargo area; and in the foreship area a general service/emergency pump of 50 m³/h at 4 bar.

The DT8000 includes high comfort levels which are obtained by detailed noise and vibration analysis and by use of high quality materials. The accommodation for captain and crew is designed and outfitted to high comfort standards, with single cabins for 10 plus one guest, all with sanitary facilities. Special attention is paid to ventilation and air conditioning, lighting and furniture. Carpentry and upholstery work was carried out by Hoogendoom Werkendam. The ship design offers other options for accommodation, allowing an increase to 16-person capacity by increasing the size of the deckhouse and by changing some cabins to double occupancy.

“In view of the extra strain an oil product tanker’s crew has to take, De Opfaert has opted for a very high level of comfort. Aimed at securing better crew satisfaction and consequently performance, they have specifically made additional investment in the so-called ‘Damen Business Line’. Such a package includes lowest interior noise levels, finer colouring, interior design and materials, for a better and more pleasant working environment,” says Mr Schultz.

The integrated bridge layout is of ergonomic design made up of standard consoles and displays and includes GMDSS area 2 communications equipment. The bridge equipment was supplied by Radio Holland and Furuno. The ship carries a Hatecke lifeboat with launching crane, a Global Davit MOB boat, and Viking liferafts.

Principal Particulars Kestrel Fisher

Length oa 104.52m
Length bp 99.92m
Beam, moulded 17.0m
Depth 9.5m
Draught (ballast) 3.8m
Draught (summer) 6.3m
Deadweight 7,076dwt
Tonnage 4,631gt
Cargo tank capacity 8,363m³
HFO tanks 258m³
MDO tanks 43m³
Lube oil capacity 21m³
Ballast tanks 3,m³
Main engine 2,640kW @ 750rpm
Auxiliary gensets 2 x 525kVA 60Hz
Class Lloyd’s Register of Shipping
Notation +100A1, Double Hull Oil Tanker, ESP, + LMC, UMS, IP,LI, SCM, NAV1, spec gr 1,025t/m³, settings PV +14kPa/ -3.5kPa, IMO II


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