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Tug orders are a boon to fire-fighting suppliers

Fri 21 Apr 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

Tug orders are a boon to fire-fighting suppliers
FiFi 1 fire water monitors can be part of an integrated and containerised package

Suppliers of FiFi systems have adapted their products for tugs at a time when orders are at rock bottom in the offshore vessel sector

A greater number of tugs are being built with specialised fire-fighting equipment to FiFi 1-class standards as owners need their vessels to be prepared for tackling emergencies. Tugs are increasingly seen as multi-purpose vessels around harbours and terminals with the capability of supporting firefighting in emergencies. Thus the majority of newbuildings have at least FiFi 1 integrated systems on board.

Jason Engineering has developed fire-fighting technology in response to the challenging tug and offshore support vessel markets. Demand for fire-fighting products to any FiFi standard in the offshore oil market has fallen significantly due to the slump in new vessel orders. But there has been more orders for FiFi systems on tugs.

To manage the challenging market and change in demand focus, Jason has reduced the footprint of its above deck systems and lowered the power requirements for smaller vessel installations. “We have the ability to react rapidly to changes in the market and adapt to its new demands,” explained Jason Engineering sales manager Vegar Lie.

“The recent decline in demand for offshore supply vessels and the reduction in shipbuilding has hit us hard. It is a challenge to compensate. But, we have taken appropriate counter measures.” He continued: “We have reduced the power consumption to meet the green challenges in today’s market. We have also reduced the footprint of our pumps, clutches and gearboxes to stay fully aligned to the challenges that come from space constraints on tugs.”

Most of the equipment that Jason Engineering had designed for offshore supply vessels are also suitable for other vessels, including different types of tugs. The main difference is the size of equipment installed on tugs compared with the larger support vessels. Most of the tug fire-fighting systems are to a FiFi 1 standard, which means there needs to be two monitors, each with a capacity of 1,200 m3/h. They need to throw water to a length of 120m and height of 45m. FiFi 1 systems also have one or two pumps with a total pump capacity of 2,400 m3/h.

Jason Engineering’s monitors have an undivided waterway, for a single flow path, said Mr Lie. He said they “have electrical and hydraulic remote controls, so they could react to different fire conditions”. He added: “These are good advantages to the owners and end-users in term of durability and reliability. Competitor systems use electric controls, where there are costing savings, but this reduces the durability and reliability.”

Jason Engineering has developed multi power-take-off transmissions as part of a wide range of purpose-built transmissions that are suitable for most FiFi applications. It also offers deluge systems, foam generators and telescopic elevating masts, all in accordance with class notations. Mr Lie said its FiFi systems are designed for low lifecycle costs, easy servicing and component replacement.

Fire Fighting Systems (FFS) also provides total fire-fighting solutions to various FiFi classes on tugs and other workboats. The complete package comprises equipment such as water monitors, pumps and controls, plus services in accordance with all class society requirements. It has a production plant in Åmål in Sweden and engineering centres in Norway and Singapore.

FFS’ product range includes pumps with drivers, gearboxes, monitors, foam mixers, deluge systems, remote control systems and related equipment. FFS designs its own FiFi I pumps, which are manufactured in a nickel-aluminium bronze or nodular cast iron casing and duplex stainless steel. It is available as a standalone unit or integrated with transmission.