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An extensive, complex conversion of Heerema Marine Contractors’ semi-submersible crane vessel, Balder, into a multipurpose deepwater construction vessel (MDCV) has been successfully completed, after more than 1.2 million man-hours were spent on this project.
After almost 11 months in the Verolme Botlek offshore / ship repair yard’s 405-m-long (1,329-ft), 90-m-wide (295-ft) dry dock, the Balder left on the night of Nov. 10, 2001, and was towed to the deepwater basin in the Caland canal. There, seven thrusters were mounted beneath the floaters. Following completion of this work, the Balder started sea trials. The departure brought to a successful conclusion the largest conversion project ever carried out by this yard. Major conversion programs had previously been carried out on the Petrobrás XXIII semi-submersible drilling rig and the semi-submersible crane vessel Saipem 7000.
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