Neptune Marine Services chief executive Robin King and Bhagwan Marine managing director Loui Kannikoski. Image courtesy Bhagwan Marine.

Neptune Marine Services chief executive Robin King and Bhagwan Marine managing director Loui Kannikoski. Image courtesy Bhagwan Marine.

By Andrew Hobbs

AN AIR Dive Support Vessel built in partnership between Western Australian companies Bhagwan Marine and Neptune Marine Services has started a five-year work contract for Apache Energy.

The Bhagwan Dryden is a 57 metre DP2 hybrid catamaran built and operated by Bhagwan, with permanent air diving, inspection and survey capabilities supplied by Neptune.

Speaking at the launch of the vessel, Bhagwan Marine managing director Loui Kannikoski said it was rare to have dynamic positioning systems on vessels of that size – one of many features which make the Bhagwan Dryden unique.

“This didn’t happen in five minutes – it has taken us probably three years to get to this part,” Mr Kannikoski said.

“It was probably five years previous to that – we have always wanted to have some sort of concept like this.”

“This will without a doubt become our flagship vessel and cement our position as industry leaders in designing and delivering purpose-built vessels to our clients.”

Neptune chief executive Robin King said the companies had worked together to create a purpose-built vessel for projects and clients operating on the North West Shelf.

“The combination of Bhagwan’s vessel building expertise and our specialist services offers clients a locally based complete solution for their inspection, repair and maintenance requirements,” he said.

“I would like to commend Apache on having the vision to see what this kind of vessel could do for them in the future, and for being bold enough to make that long term commitment to use the vessel going forward.”

The vessel is named after Graham Dryden, once operations manager of Apache, who died unexpectedly in 2011.

The five-year Apache contract, which has the potential for a further three year extension, includes the option for Bhagwan and Neptune to market the vessel for charter to third parties during this period.

The vessel had already carried out a mooring system inspection using an ROV at the time of going to press, with work on the Apache contract to have started in October.

The Bhagwan Dryden boasts 260 square metres of clear deck space, a deck load of 10 tonnes per square metre and is able to travel at a full operating speed of 12.3 knots.

It can work in shallow waters, offering operational efficiencies at these depths and is also fitted with a TMS light work class Comanche remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

The vessel has a four point mooring system, emergency hybrid capability, firefighting capabilities (FIFI1) and is fitted with a 21 tonne deck crane and 20 tonne A frame.

The Bhagwan Dryden also has two built-in decompression chambers and two Pommec launch and recovery systems – with the diving systems boasting a depth rating of 50 metres.

It operates as an Australian flagged vessel, with Dampier set as its home port.

The news came as Bhagwan announced its acquisition of UK-based Marine & Towage Services (MTS), which it said would give it an international presence in what was a booming market.

MTS provides marine services ranging from towage, salvage and civil engineering support to ships from its bases in Brixham and Falmouth, in the English counties of Devon and Cornwall respectively.

Mr Kannikoski said MTS was a perfect fit for the company in its plans to reach into the international market.

“MTS managing director Jon Parslow will be staying on in his present role and I am very happy to say that he is now a shareholder in the parent company,” he said.

“Jon will also be heading up our push into the international market.”