Communications upgrade for FPSO Glas Dowr

Dec 17, 2004
Author: Bruce Dunn - SMD Telecommunications


The Bluewater Energy Services’ FPSO Glas Dowr, which is in position on the Sable field south of Mossel Bay, recently had a Nera F77 supplied and installed by SMD Telecommunications.


picture courtesy Bluewater

Motivating factors for the upgrade were the ISDN 64kbps data handling capability, 128 kpbs upgrade, the always-connected MPDS Internet connectivity and the high reliability of Nera products.

SMD reports that the equipment was transported to the FPSO by launch while their technician boarded by helicopter. During the five days he was on board he not only completed the installation of the Fleet terminal but also carried out necessary maintenance to the remainder of the equipment.

Glas Dowr is no stranger to the maritime community, particularly in Cape Town. The vessel undertook an extensive refit there before taking up station on the Sable field. What may not be generally known however is the background to the name of the vessel.

The name of each Bluewater vessel means ‘blue water’ in a different language. This unique naming tradition goes back to the very first FPSO, the Acqua Blu. It was decided to name each of the vessels ‘blue water’ in the language of the country where the first tanker/FPSO project was initiated and this became a company tradition. So the Mila field FPSO in Italy became Acqua Blu.

The next project was in China, hence Lan Sui, and the Ayer Biru was first used in Indonesia where the official language is Malay. The tradition has continued, although it gets a little problematic when the country is the UK and the language English. The current crop of names started with the Uisge Gorm on the UK Fife field.

Since modern English did not provide a suitable name, Bluewater researched it a bit and settled on a Gaelic name. Gaelic is a language of Celtic origin and is still spoken by about 70,000 people in Scotland.

The name Glas Dowr is based on the Welsh language, and Bleo Holm is Cornish. Both languages are of Celtic origin.

Stephen Patterson-Fyfe, Bluewater’s technical editor for the past seven years, was tasked to find a new name for the Berge Hugin after its acquisition.

“Having decided that the Celtic connection had probably run its course, I tried to find a name in keeping with the “blue water” or “water that is blue” concept and researched various options. Berge Hugin became Haewene Brim, which is Old English or Anglo Saxon. The language was spoken in England and South Eastern Scotland up until the time of the Norman invasion in 1066, after which time some French words came into use. When choosing a name for North Sea FPSOs, a fair bit of research has to be done. The University of Glasgow was helpful in coming up with the final Haewene Brim solution.”


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