Nigeria’s Homeland Integrated Offshore Services Limited (HIOSL) has taken delivery of two new Damen FCS 3307 Patrol vessels, which will be deployed in the Gulf of Guinea to protect and support the offshore assets of Homeland’s clients.
Damen said the two vessels have arrived safely in Nigeria and are now being prepared for their first assignments. They have been built to the same specifications as their sister ships. Key features of the 33-metre vessels include Damen’s trademark Axe Bow hull form that delivers improved fuel economy and a top speed of 29 knots together with superb seakeeping.
Power comes from three Caterpillar main engines totalling 3 579 bkW with each driving a fixed pitch propeller via a Reintjes WVS series gearbox. Capable of accommodating up to six crew and twelve security personnel they can remain at sea for up to four weeks and travel 1 200 nautical miles in and around Nigeria’s coastal and offshore oil fields.
The security packages installed by Damen on both vessels are purely defensive. The bridges are bullet proof and armoured ‘citadels’ within the hulls protect non-combatants.
In addition to their security role, each Damen FCS 3307 Patrol has a 75m² cargo deck aft rated at 2.5 tonnes/m². The decks allow them to deliver equipment and spares to offshore installations without any impairment to their primary security role. Additional equipment specified by HIOSL includes thermal imaging sets, diesel powered SOLAS fast rescue craft and Fuel Trax fuel monitoring systems as well as redundant fuel oil separators to protect the engines and generators from contaminated fuel.
“We continue to invest in state-of-the-art vessels for our fleet so as to maintain our leadership position in servicing Nigeria’s offshore oil and gas sector,” said Dr Louis Ekere, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Homeland Integrated Offshore Services. He went on to say; “We work with many of the international oil companies (IOCs) operating actively in the Gulf of Guinea and these new additions will support them in achieving their strategic global objectives.”
Homeland has a fleet of vessels that includes fast supply intervention vessels, platform support vessels, anchor handling tug supply ships, security and patrol vessels, tugs and other craft. It has previously acquired a number of crew/security vessels from Damen. The first Damen vessel was ordered in 2014, with the next most recent deliveries being three vessels in 2018. A June 2018 order took Homeland’s total to six.
In September this year HIOSL announced it had ordered several Flex Fighter security/crew boats from Singapore’s Penguin Shipyards. These will be delivered in December 2019. The 40 metre long vessels feature all-round ballistic protection for the wheelhouse, machinegun mounts and gunner shields forward and aft. Up to twelve security personnel can be accommodated.
Homeland IOS Ltd is one of a few indigenous Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC) in Nigeria with a valid memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian Navy for the provision of security services. It received an award for exceptional services from the United States Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security Services.
HIOSL’s recent deliveries and orders come at a time of increased pirate activity in the region, with the International Maritime Bureau recently warning that the Gulf of Guinea is one of the most dangerous areas for shipping in the world.