show them that we deliver state-of-the-art engineering and show them what we are capable of operationally. Both HHI and Statoil are very keen to see the simulation exercises and will be attending some of the training days at MARIN.”

Artist’s impression. The entire structure — the upper and lower parts — make up the spar. The lower part is the spar hull — the upper part is the spar topside.

“This is precision work. We first have the transfer from the White Marlin onto the two S-Class, we take the White Marlin out of the catamaran phase and then there is the moment when we are physically moving over the spar. It is the combination of physically bringing her over the spar by manoeuvring but also by connecting all the mooring lines to fix it in its final position.”

Years of preparation, precision calculations and simulation excercises are all vital to the success of the project, they both stress. MARIN is involved in several aspects of the project. The scope ranges from a motion verification study, to ensure the proper transfer of findings from the engineering phase to the operations phase to simulating the transfer of the topside from the White Marlin to the two Swan vessels, to create the catamaran configuration. MARIN and Dockwise will also simulate towing the catamaran vessels to the spar using the tugs and installing the topside on the spar via the float-over method. Crucially, the simulations will look at various ways about how all the procedures can best be done given the operational parameters (wind, wave, current) and the available catamaran and tug capabilities.

Matching reality Mr Polkamp says that it is vital that engineering matches reality.

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“We feel that MARIN is better than competitors at creating reality in its simulations and at engineering the environmental parameters into models.

“Essentially, we wanted MARIN to help us examine three critical aspects – manoeu- vrability, the feasibility of the marine spread and how the team behaves. It is all about risk mitigation, we wanted to assess the configuration with the rigid-connected tugs, manoeuvrability and how we can best position the vessels - the whole dynamics of the configuration.”

Simulations are also important as a marketing tool, adds Mr Polkamp. “This project has many of the major players involved. We are keen to

Creating the team The simulation exer- cises are also very important when it comes to building the right team, Captain Bosch emphasises. “With any project there is the added complexity - people. We want to find the best team. We have learnt from other projects where we carried out simulations at a much later stage, that the earlier they take place, the better. Simulations make things run a lot easier. You need to have good cooperation and understand each other. If you simulate in the preparation stages it is possible to get a very good team at an early stage of the project. Everyone involved has to know exactly what they are doing.”

Several different workshops and dry runs will take place at MARIN’s headquarters. In May, a Demonstration Day was held for the captains, superintendents, marine engi- neers and the first workshop took place in October for the four tug captains and winch operators. The simulation training exercises will eventually include the captains from the heavy lift vessels and the S-Class, winch operators, the superintendent, tugmasters, marine engineers, ballast engineers and Captain Bosch as lead towmaster.

“The many simulation exercises at MARIN are a vital part of our preparation and good preparation is 90% of the success of any project. We should do this a lot more in our industry!” they stress.

Transport of the hull of the Lucius spar (2013).

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