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Penguin Shipyard International, the world's most prolific builder of mid-sized crewboats, has rolled out a new Flex model type to service deeper and more remote offshore facilities, while offering greater functionality.

Dubbed the Flex-50, the 50-metre, Kongsberg DP1 Fast Supply Intervention Vessel (FSIV) clocked speeds in excess of 25 knots with 150 tons of deadweight during a recent sea trial. Powered by four electronically controlled MTU 16 V4000 M53 Main Engines with close to 10,000 BHP on tap, the Flex-50 is fast and furious. At station-keeping mode, the vessel utilises Kongsberg's state-of-the-art dynamic positioning system, four fixed pitch propellers and two 200-BHP bow thrusters to remain steadfast and steady, even in rough seas.

The first Flex-50, christened "Pelican Victory", has been delivered to Pelican Offshore Services, which was heavily involved in the original development of the Flex-50 design with Penguin Shipyard International. Both companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of Singapore's publicly listed Penguin International Limited, an integrated marine group which specialises in the design, construction and operation of crewboats and FSIV.

Designed for deeper and more remote offshore operations, the Flex-50 is built for endurance, with 171,000 litres of fuel capacity and 52,000 litres of freshwater capacity, as well as 200 tons of deck cargo capacity on a 200-square metre cargo deck. The accommodation space features 75 fully reclining business class seats, 2 passenger cabins for 2 personnel each, and crew cabins for 12 personnel. Like its smaller Flex-40 Series siblings, the Flex-50 features Penguin's ubiquitous walk-in chiller and walk-in freezer, which give the vessel the much-needed capacity to store fresh rations on extended missions.

Commenting on the new addition to the Flex family, Penguin Shipyard's General Manager Philip Tan, said, "The Flex-50 is a fit-for-purpose design for extended periods out at sea. It goes fast and it maintains position when required. During the design and testing stage, we were careful not to over-engineer the vessel or slap on unnecessary frills just to show off, at the expense of the end user."

The Flex-50 is expected to commence a long-term charter in Southeast Asia imminently. In coming months, Penguin plans to build additional units based on a similar concept.
Presently, there are close to 100 Flex crewboats operating around the world from Asia to Africa, serving primarily the offshore and maritime security industries.
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Jan 2014 Issue

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