Damen Oskarshamnsvarvet has signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Kustbevakningen, the Swedish Coastguard (KBV), for a modernisation and modification project on the vessel KBV 181. The vessel was built as a patrol boat, but will after modification serve as a combination vessel, for both patrol and oil recovery. It is used also by Umeå Marine Forskningscenter (UMF) for research and environmental monitoring in the Gulf of Bothnia.

The KBV 181 is scheduled to arrive at Damen’s Swedish yard on 21st April next year, where she will remain until December, undergoing a scope of work that will extend her lifetime by 15 years and ready her for oil recovery work.

Damen Oskarshamnsvarvet managing director Flip der Waal says that the two parties have worked closely in order to find a solution that matches the client’s budget and requirements.

“The Coastguard is a good customer of ours, we’ve worked together before on numerous occasions. Our cooperation during the process has been extremely pleasant and constructive. They think along with us, helping us to find solutions. As always, we have worked together as a team; in the end we both have the same objective – to get the project done as efficiently as possible.”

The Swedish Coastguard has been developing the plans for the project for some time. It will involve a broad scope of work, including enlargement of the aft deck area which will provide the additional deck space needed to allow the vessel to fulfill her large diversity of tasks, ranging from hosting scientific research missions to oil recovery in ice. The hull reconstruction will be carried out above the waterline in order to maintain the vessel’s ability to maneuver in ice.

Additionally, a new bulwark will be fitted, including a transom door which will fold outwards to become an additional deck extension able to support oil recovery equipment. Both of the vessel’s existing cranes will be replaced with new ones and an additional, 90 ton, crane will be installed.

Damen will remove bulkheads from the main deck in order to incorporate a new laboratory, to be operated by Umeå University. This will include the construction and installation of a Ferry box for continual water sampling and analysis for the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological institute.

In the modernization of the bridge, Damen will replace all communication and navigation equipment and will modify the console, seating and entire layout in order to obtain improved ergonomics. Additionally installed CCTV cameras will also be monitored from the bridge in order to improve safety of work on the aft deck.

Conditions on board will be enhanced with a refurbishment of accommodation areas, renewal of HVAC equipment and a focus on reducing noise and vibrations throughout the vessel.

Damen’s yard has already begun work on the project, beginning with the designs for the steel work, electrical integration, wheelhouse equipment and HVAC modification.