Hovertrans Solutions Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine), is constructing a 50-ton payload hoverbarge that is designed for heavy lift operations in difficult terrain.
Measuring 34 x 17 meters, the modular hoverbarge will have a hover height of 1.8 meters and can be self-propelled by adding two modular propulsion units.
According to company officials, this amphibious hoverbarge is designed to carry cargo or equipment over swamps, wetlands, tundra, ice and shallow water, opening up possibilities for oil and gas exploration and field developments in remote areas.
A significant advantage of the hoverbarge is that it only exerts 1 psi of ground pressure while on hover, thus minimizing any environmental footprint.
Manufactured from cold weather steel and with a specialized skirt system, the hoverbarge can operate in temperatures ranging from 40°C to -40°C.
The design uses a modular concept and involves connection of ISO container sized pontoon units and a skirt frame. This enables the hoverbarge to be shipped around the world basically using conventional shipping. Once the hoverbarge arrives, it can be reassembled within a day.
The hoverbarge is expected to be available for charter by third quarter 2011.