VIKING has secured a contract from Kværner AS to deliver three VIKING Norsafe E-GES 52 electric free-fall lifeboats and compatible davits, in a significant advance for electric propulsion. The contract, part of the upgrade of Equinor’s Njord A platform in the Norwegian Sea, initially called for diesel-powered lifeboats but has been amended to specify VIKING Norsafe E-GES 52 units based on performance, assured availability and lower maintenance requirements.
“Developing this ground-breaking electric freefall lifeboat has been a great team effort and I would like to congratulate our designers, engineers and partners in turning this concept into reality,” says Dag Songedal, MD VIKING Norsafe Boats & Davits.
The electric lifeboat is powered by 3x25kWh batteries contained in robust, waterproof cases with their own fire extinguishing systems and an electric motor complete with gearbox and ventilation system.
Songedal says VIKING is delighted to work in partnership with Equinor in a step forward for battery power that will also result in enhanced maritime safety. The VIKING Norsafe E-GES performs the launch phase of an evacuation at a higher sprint speed than lifeboats featuring diesel propulsion, thereby transporting evacuees more quickly and safely away from the platform in the case of an emergency, he points out.
The significant long-term cost savings achieved through reduced maintenance and remote monitoring capabilities are also incredibly valuable for offshore operators, says Mr. Songedal. Other benefits include better onboard comfort due to the absence of the exhaust fumes, heat, noise and vibration caused by diesel engines.
Built in compliance with DNV GL-ST-E406, the VIKING Norsafe E-GES development is in the final test phase at VIKING’s direct ocean-access premises in Arendal, Norway, with full production ready in time to meet the agreed delivery date to the Njord A platform.