CRIST – steel cutting ceremony of the new cable laying vessel for Nexans and ULSTEIN

By Marek Grzybowski

Construction of a new cable laying vessel. started in January this year. The order is being carried out for Ulstein, based on a contract concluded four months earlier with Nexans Marine Operations AS, the company that will operate the new ship. The main construction contractor is the Ulstein Verft shipyard.

On 19 January 2024, on the day four months after signing the shipbuilding contract, Nexans Marine Operations AS and Ulstein Verft could celebrate the start of the construction of Nexans’ next cable laying vessel. Attending the steel cutting ceremony at the Crist hull yard were representatives from Nexans, Ulstein Verft, DNV and Crist.

Knut Flage, Vessel Operations Manager at Nexans, had the honour of starting the steel cutting machine.

We are very happy to start with the steelwork at Crist. Good cooperation in design and engineering work last months by designer, shipyard and shipowner allows us to start the fabrication on schedule – said Frode Beyer, Project Manager, Nexans.

Ulstein Verft’s project manager, Runar Toftesund, says: “We are pleased to start the production and to continue the good cooperation with Nexans, Crist and Skipsteknisk”.

Nexans Aurora

The new build is Ulstein Verft’s yard number 317, and an updated version of Nexans’ flagship, the Nexans Aurora, a 2021 delivery. She is a DP3 cable laying vessel, outfitted for power cable laying, including bundle laying, cable jointing and repair and cable system protection and trenching. The vessel is developed for operations in rough weather and has high manoeuvrability and station keeping capabilities – informed ULSTEIN.

The cutting-edge cable-laying vessel has a length of 149.9m and a beam of 31m. She accommodates a crew of 90. This vessel is equipped with three turntables; she carries a split turntable on deck with a capacity for up to 10,000t of cable, an under-deck turntable with a 3,500t cable capacity, and a basket below deck for fibre optic cables holding 450t; totally close to 14,000t cable loading capacity.

The vessel is specially designed by Skipsteknisk to carry out the transport and lay of various types of subsea cables, including cable bundles, as well as recovery and repair. She is capable of laying up to four cables simultaneously. The vessel can perform effectively even in challenging weather conditions and boasts exceptional manoeuvrability and station-keeping capabilities.