Orange to build a new subsea cable ship with Orange Marine

Orange to build a new subsea cable ship through Orange Marine

02 December 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

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Orange Marine, a subsidiary of Orange, will build a new cable ship that will deliver greater efficiency and a reduced environmental footprint.

The new vessel will be the first cable ship of its generation specially designed for the maintenance of submarine cables, both fibre optic telecoms cables and inter-array power cables used in offshore windfarms.

Ready to sail to any cable emergency within 24 hours, the new vessel will replace C/S Raymond Croze, launched in 1983, who carried out more than one hundred cable repairs, mostly in Mediterranean, Black Sea and Red Sea.

“The decision to build this vessel is very good news for Orange Marine, its employees and its customers,” said Didier Dillard, CEO of Orange Marine.

“We will have a new and high-performance tool, with a low environmental footprint, which will allow us to offer high-quality services for several decades to our customers, not only owners of submarine telecommunications cables but also operators of  offshore wind farms.”

As for its build, contracted to Colombo Dockyard shipyard assisted by the Norwegian company Vard, the new ship is due for completion H1 2023.

It will also feature a streamlined hull is designed to reduce fuel consumption, approximately 25% lower than average existing cable ships.

Its Azipod marine propulsion thrusters will give her unmatched maneuverability and reliability, and the remotely operated vehicle used for cutting, inspecting and burying cables will be stored onboard in a dedicated hangar.

Additionally, the hybrid energy management system based on fuel production and electrical storage back-up using batteries will reduce its fuel consumption during cable works and will prevent any unexpected shutdown of a generator.

“The decision to build the latest generation cable vessel shows how much Orange believes in the future of the submarine cables market. Repair vessels are of strategic importance in maintaining global internet connectivity which relies over 80% on submarine cables,” added Jean-Luc Vuillemin (pictured), executive vice president of Orange in charge of international networks, and chairman of the supervisory board of Orange Marine.

“This new vessel allows us to be part of a long-term strategy to ensure that our network is well maintained and that Orange Marine continues to have the means to carry out its missions with state-of-the-art tools."

Overall, the new vessel has been designed to reduce its environmental footprint, with a reduction of 20% in CO2 emissions and an 80% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions compared to the Raymond Croze.