Thursday, February 2, 2023

Technical Management Agreement for Viking Supply Ships PSVs means smooth sailing whatever the weather

In 2021 Swedish operator Viking Supply Ships signed a five-year Technical Management Agreement (TMA) covering two modern, hybrid LNG-powered platform support vessels (PSVs). Both feature a wide range of Wärtsilä technologies including dual-fuel engines, fuel supply systems and a hybrid battery power supply system. The comprehensive, flexible TMA helps keep all this equipment running smoothly and means Viking Supply Ships have access to the support they need, whenever and wherever they need it.

Viking Supply Ships’ state-of-the-art PSVs, Coey Viking and Cooper Viking, are used to transport cargo to and from offshore oil and & gas platforms in challenging sea conditions and in areas with some of the world’s strictest emissions regulations. Both are packed full of Wärtsilä technologies that make them highly efficient and sustainable.

They are powered by Wärtsilä 34 and 20 dual-fuel engines and have the Wärtsilä LNGPac storage and handling system installed, allowing them to operate primarily on the low-carbon fuel. The vessels both feature a Wärtsilä HY hybrid battery power supply system, which Viking Supply Ships chose to retrofit to ensure that the vessels meet future environmental requirements and are an even more attractive prospect for charterers. They are also fitted with a Wärtsilä shore connection solution, which eliminates exhaust emissions and noise pollution in port and allows the onboard batteries to be recharged when required.

“Viking Supply Ships is a pioneer in terms of developing its operations in a more energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable direction, and we are delighted to be partnering with them to support their efforts,” says Trude Stene, Country Manager, Contracts, Wärtsilä Norway. “In this case there are only two vessels under agreement, but they receive the same care and attention as larger customers with agreements covering a far higher number.”

Lifecycle services agreement lays the groundwork for a strong partnership

To ensure their vessels operate optimally around the clock, in 2021 Viking signed a five-year Technical Management Agreement (TMA) with Wärtsilä. “The TMA’s comprehensive scope covers the engines, generators, electric motors, gas valve units, LNGPac system, hybrid system and electrical and automation systems,” explains Morten Tveit, Contract Manager, Wärtsilä Norway. “It’s a flexible first step on the lifecycle services agreement ladder that gives customers the peace of mind they need while putting them in the driving seat in terms of maintenance planning and execution,” he continues.

The TMA also includes the Wärtsilä Expert Insight service, which uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence and advanced diagnostics to spot potential problems before they can develop into major issues that result in costly downtime. If an issue is flagged, a dedicated expert at Wärtsilä’s Expertise Centre can liaise with Viking Supply Ships’ crews to provide actionable recommendations and guidance. 

Because of the vessels’ relatively unpredictable schedules and working locations, and to ensure crews have support available whenever they need it, on-demand remote operational and technical support are also included, covering the engines and electrical and automation equipment.

Viking Supply Ships can also call on Wärtsilä for a wide range of other services, as Tveit explains: “On a purchase-order basis we can supply any needed spare parts for overhauls or other scheduled maintenance, field service technicians to perform the work, workshop services for repairs, component overhauls and annual inspections of gas valve units and the LNGPac system. Naturally, we know the vessels and their equipment and systems inside out, so the customer can trust us to deliver top-quality service every time.”

Trust built on transparency

The excellent working relationship with Viking Supply Ships is the result of world-class engineering expertise – and plenty of time and effort – on both sides. “We hold weekly meetings to make sure everyone’s on the same page and to address any issues. These open, honest discussions help us tremendously in terms of strengthening our partnership and ensuring that the TMA is providing everything that the customer needs,” says Tveit.

As Stene explains, a TMA is often the first step on the road to a more comprehensive type of agreement where Wärtsilä can take on even more risk and responsibility on the customer’s behalf: “Viking Supply Ships is a very forward-thinking organisation that is always looking to improve. They have a highly professional, vastly experienced in-house team, which is why the TMA was the right first step for them. It provides a safety net with world-class OEM support plus the option to buy in additional services as and when they need.”

“Our partnership is really only just beginning,” says Tveit. “The knowledge we gain about the vessels’ performance and behaviour every day will be extremely valuable as together we seek new ways to develop our partnership. This could be in the form of, for example, setting mutually agreed targets for KPIs like engine running hours, uptime or emission levels. It’s a very exciting time!”

We must future-proof our assets by preparing them for next-generation fuels and battery technology while maintaining safety and efficiency. With such advanced vessels it was important to ensure that our crews had good technical support to help them build their competences and gain confidence in the new assets. With the TMA we have a direct line to technical experts through our contract manager and the Wärtsilä Expertise Center, so our chief engineers can discuss any issue directly with an expert while looking at the same data they see. Our relationship with Wärtsilä is essential to secure a successful transition to a more energy-efficient and less carbon-intense future.

Jan-Erik Larsson, Site Manager, Viking Supply Ships AS

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