Offshore Petroleum Discharge System (OPDS)
Offshore Petroleum Discharge System (OPDS) provides a semipermanent, all-weather facility for bulk transfer of refined bulk petroleum (e.g., JP5 and JP8) directly from an offshore tanker to a beach termination unit (BTU) located immediately inland from the high watermark. POL then is either transported inland or stored in the beach support area. Major OPDS components are: the OPDS tanker with booster pumps and spread mooring winches, a recoverable single-anchor leg mooring (SALM) to accommodate four tankers up to 70,000 DWT, ship to SALM hose lines, up to four miles of six-inch (internal diameter conduit for pumping to the beach, and two BTUs to interface with the shoreside systems.
The OPDS was designed to provide the Service components in an operational area with large volumes of refined petroleum products over a sustained period. The OPDS consists of two major components; a specially configured product tanker and a mobile tanker terminal. As of 2004 there were four OPDS tankers, of which two were normally forward-deployed. The remaining tankers were in MARAD RRF five and ten day readiness status. Three of the tankers (SS PETERSBURG, SS CHESAPEAKE, and SS MOUNT WASHINGTON) contain a crane and stowage cradles for five OPDS utility boats (OUBs) (modified LCM-6s). OUB equipped tankers carry adequate SLWT outfitting to equip one SLWT as a towtug and one SLWT as a lay repair boat carry one complete tanker terminal, and are equipped with five OUBs to deploy it. These tankers also have a maximum 59 LT capacity crane to load/offload the five OUBs carried onboard. The OUBs are fully outfitted and configured to provide these tankers with full capability for OPDS deployment. All OPDS tankers still carry some of the necessary material for outfitting SLWTs to perform the OPDS deployment operations. The SS POTOMAC carries one complete tanker but is not large enough to accommodate OUB storage racks or a 59 ton crane for deployment of OUB's or other OPDS heavy lifts and therefore relies on other assets to provide SLWT or OUB assistance. The maximum lift capability of SS POTOMAC is 10 tons.
OPDS can support a two-line system for multiproduct discharge, but ship standoff distance is reduced from four to two miles. Amphibious construction battalions install the OPDS with underwater construction team assistance. OPDSs are embarked on selected RRF tankers modified to support the system. OPDS can deliver 1.2 million gallons (28,600 barrels) at 1000 GPM of refined product per 20-hour day from a tanker up to 4 miles offshore through one flow line, or two products simultaneously at 500 GPM each if within 2 miles of the beach. The remaining 4 hours are for maintenance. IT can operate for at least 180 days with replenishment from supply tankers. OPDS can operate in sea state 5, survive in sea state 7, and remain on station in winds of 55 knots and current under 4 knots. It is installable in all bottom types except rock and hard coral in water depths from 35-190 feet (250 feet maximum for conduit). Installation is limited by sea state, wind, currents, and watercraft capability. The terminal (SPM) components are common, and may be used by any OPDS tanker with only 4 hours for tanker changeout. The tanker can recover and backload the terminal and transport it to another location at best tanker speed.
Offshore Petroleum Discharge System(s) (OPDS) consist of US-flag self-sustaining vessel(s) and associated equipment for the deployment, operation, and redeployment of OPDS in support of the Defense Energy Support Center's Prepostioning Program. RFP N00033-04-R-3301 posted 12 December 2003 replaced the DRAFT RFP N00033-04-R-3300. It was anticipated that the charter period would be 12-months firm with three 12-month options and one 11-month option. As part of a preaward survey and prior to acceptance by the government, the Contractor was required to demonstrate that their system meets all of the minimum technical capabilities, as well as any other operating capabilities, as described in the Contractor's proposal.
Based on today's technology, MSC considered Dynamic Positioning to be a realistic approach to the vessel requirement for maintaining a fixed position and deploying hose. Considering the sea state (wind and current) parameters set up for deployment and operation, MSC was skeptical that mooring is an acceptable solution. However, with proper justification and documentation MSC would consider alternate methods.
A Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) allows a ship to automatically approach and maintain its position within 10 meters of a designated fixed point. The operator is provided with the ability to keep a steady heading over a specific point or the ship can pivot about a point, such as a the buoy port. DPS incorporates the propulsion control system, enabling the ship to follow a programmed navigation plot with minimal human intervention.
The OPDS Contract (N00033-05-C-3300) resulting from RFP N00033-04-R-3301 was awarded January 25, 2005 to Edison Chouest Offshore, LLC in the amount of $26,616,165. Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO), Galliano, La., was being awarded a firm fixed price contract with additional reimbursables for the time charter of one Offshore Petroleum Discharge System (OPDS). The OPDS system provides rapid, mobile transfer of fuel from offshore tankers to US military fuel storage facilities ashore when conventional fuel transfer facilities are unavailable. Each OPDS system includes one new-build support vessel and one tender. The vessels covered under this contract are to be named in the future. This contract contains options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to a total of $241,457,294. Work will be performed in the Guam/Saipan area, but are deployable worldwide, and is expected to be October 2006. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with more than 50 proposals solicited and two offers received.
This replacement system for the current OPDS tankers, being constructed in a US shipyard, will apply state of the art commercial off the shelf technology and will be deployed by 36 civilian personnel vice the 200 military/civilian personnel currently required. The new system will not incorporate afloat storage of fuel, but will utilize tankers of opportunity. This new system will be capable of providing 1.7 million gallons per day of JP5 or JP8 (50% more fuel than the current system) from up to eight miles offshore in all bottom conditions in significantly higher sea states than the current system. The system consists of an OPDS support vessel, an embarked tender vessel, and other water craft including a lighter, amphibious, resupply, cargo which will deploy the OPDS conduit and BTU. Once the conduit is deployed, the support vessel will use dynamic positioning to hold the tanker supplying the fuel in place.
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