USA: Since their beginnings with the 1955-launch of the Ebb Tide, the first purpose-built boats to serve the Gulf of Mexico offshore oil industry, Tidewater has been an industry leader.
‘With over 400 vessels currently serving the oil industry worldwide the company is now the largest offshore support vessel operator in the world. The fleet has been built by acquiring competitors but also by an extensive and systematic new construction program. Currently the latest generation of platform supply vessels has completed the design phase. MMC Ship Design & Marine Consulting of Poland designed the vessels, twelve of which are being built in China at the Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding. The new class of PSVs will be diesel-electric power. Each of the four electric generators will be turned by a Cummins QSK60-D(M) rated at 1,825 kW. These provide the electrical power to the two motor-driven aft mounted azimuthing thrusters and two bow thrusters, a 910kW controllable pitch tunnel thruster along with an 800kW drop down controllable azimuthing thruster. Power will also be reserved for the vessel’s cargo systems. The boats have a 14.3-knot design speed. In the choice of propulsion, Tidewater has moved to the efficiencies offered by diesel-electric technology. The great flexibility of this system allows for significant cost savings when a boat is on standby at an oilrig or maintaining slow speeds for exploration jobs.