Fibre optic cable laying vessels

The fibre cable vessels are typically working between continents, connecting the grids and laying long stretches of subsea cables. They are powerful, with high capacity, and particular care is taken in the design process to maintain low fuel consumption even in the most power-demanding situations.

The cables contain periodic repeaters to boost the signal, increasing the weight of the cable. These cables can be hundreds of kilometres in length, and they are often deployed at great depths.

The ULSTEIN SX228 cable layer has a deadweight of 8,400 tonnes and a cable capacity of 5,500 tonnes. The vessel has been optimised as a fibre cable layer but is also prepared for future operations with power cable including strengthening for underdeck carousel in the forward cable tank. Two cable lines are placed inside an enclosed working area, and the vessel has an ROV hangar for the trencher and an A-frame of 50 t. The vessel has a bollard pull of up to 120 tonnes for ploughing.

The ULSTEIN SX209 cable repair design is a compact and robust vessel optimised for cable repair of fibre optic cables. Minimising the downtime of a damaged cable is crucial, when a fault has been located, the vessel needs to sail there, find the cable, and catch and repair it before replacing it on the seabed. The process of lifting alone can take more than a day if at great depths. The design focus area for such vessels is more on speed and efficiency than on capacity, and the SX209 vessel has a speed of 15 knots. With a length of 99.6m and a width of 18m, the capacity is up to 1,000t of cables.

We provide the concept and basic designs as well as various design services, engineering, power integration and electrical services, site follow-up and turnkey shipbuilding deliveries. We have our own shipyard, Ulstein Verft, renowned for high-quality, on-time deliveries.