S.B. Submarine Systems Company Limited (SBSS), one of Asia’s leading providers of submarine cable installation and maintenance solutions, has expanded its fleet with a new cable ship cs Fu Tai, to Shanghai.
The vessel has berthed at SBSS’s Wujing cable depot on the Huangpu River and she will shortly assume international telecom cable maintenance duties in Asia, SBSS said in a statement. cs Fu Tai, ex-Bourbon Oceanteam 101, was originally built in Spain in 2007 as an offshore construction vessel (OCV).
The cable ship was purchased by SBSS in July 2021 and has since been converted and mobilised as a bespoke cable ship. The cable spread design and newly installed equipment and machinery will primarily be utilised in the Asian submarine cable maintenance market.
“The arrival of cs Fu Tai demonstrates SBSS’s commitment to the submarine cable industry. This investment strengthens the ability of SBSS’s telecom fleet whilst cementing our leading position in the Asian submarine cable installation and maintenance sector. At SBSS, we are very proud of the part we play in keeping the world connected. Now that the considerable work involved in the acquisition, repositioning, conversion, mobilisation, commissioning and sea trials of Fu Tai are complete, she will be set to cable maintenance duties in our region, operating out of Shanghai. I am confident that this quality platform, to which we have also mobilised a very powerful Q1000 trenching ROV, will exceed our customers’ expectations.” Simon Hibberd, Managing Director, SBSS
cs Fu Tai now joins the fleet and, whilst numerically replacing CS Fu An, the new tonnage is of far superior build and capability, the company said. The current demand for tonnage in the submarine telecom sector, means that there will be no shortage of work for the ship in the foreseeable future. In July 2021, SBSS successfully took delivery of the vessel in Vigo, Spain and has reflagged the vessel from Malta to Panama.
Changes in the telecom space in recent years have seen considerable efforts made by end users to reduce the total cost of ownership of a cable system and this has affected both the cable installation and maintenance markets. The conversion of cs Fu Tai has taken into account the need by service providers to offer a reliable and cost-effective solution to customers.
Initially built as an OCV to support the oil and gas industry, cs Fu Tai is fuel efficient being powered by four 2,700kW high quality Wartsila units. She has excellent station-keeping capability, a comfort class DNV notation, a 70t active heave-compensated (AHC) crane and hence the ability to perform a variety of offshore construction works.
“cs Fu Tai makes a perfect addition to SBSS’s current fleet. We have enjoyed working with our chosen design house, Vanx Marine, to refine the cable spread and with Changhong International Shipyard, to convert her into a bespoke cable ship. Being an ex-offshore construction vessel with a good track record in the oil and gas industry, I am confident of her continued success in the submarine telecom sector.” Mack Wang, the Fleet Operation Director of SBSS.
Cable installation and maintenance capability
Post conversion, this DP2 vessel now has a cable carrying capacity of 3,000 tonnes in two main static cable tanks, and is equipped with capable cable handling machinery, 18kV Power Feed equipment, Power Grounding Unit (PGU), Universal Jointing spreads and a full suite of telecom cable test equipments.