Heerema: DCV Balder Operational Again in February

Heerema Marine Contractors said it expects that the Deepwater Construction Vessel (DCV) Balder will restart its work in the Gulf of Mexico in the first half of February. The Balder has been out of order since December 28, when unexpected flooding hit the vessel. Two thrusters of the Dynamic Positioning system were damaged and water came in via a cooling water pipe. No one on board was hurt during the incident and no harm to the environment occurred.

At the time of the incident the DCV Balder was working in the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks to a quick and professional response from the crew, the situation was brought under control within 90 minutes. In that period of time the operations were successfully and safely stopped without accidents, damage to facilities being installed, or harm to the environment.

Immediately after the incident, the vessel was able to propel itself to shallow water for a full investigation. The indicated cause of the incident was the inadvertent opening of a cooling water valve during a maintenance operation. Depending on the speed of repairs, the DCV Balder will be operational in February.

Heerema's other DCV, Thialf, is en route to the Gulf of Mexico from Brazil and due to arrive in February. The schedules of both vessels will be optimized to minimize the impact on upcoming projects. The Balder will not be fully operational at first and the Thialf can take over some Balder duties.

Heerema Marine Contractors, based in Leiden, The Netherlands, is a leading offshore construction contractor for the oil and gas industry. HMC transports, installs and removes all types of offshore facilities. The fleet now consists of three crane vessels (Thialf, Hermod and Balder). HMC is a division within the Heerema Group.

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