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Oil Sea Harvester

By raising the issue of marine oil spills to the highest priority for the EU community, OSH is addressing these needs to develop a fast ship in transit to be quickly on the scene and to recover oil in rather high sea states. The outcome is the technico-economical definition of the integrated OSH system.

Tags: Water


The increase of traffic, together with the presence of many old and not always well-maintained vessels, on the seas quite close to European coasts will increase the risk of having human, ecological but also economical disasters. The consequences of tanker accidents are often catastrophic, raising the issue of oil spills to the highest priority for the EU community. Analysing accidents like the recent ones of the Erika and the Prestige, there is a clear need for vessels specifically designed to recover oil pollution at sea (with efficient recovery tools, decantation and storage capacities), which have onboard tools to help them detect and track the pollutants. There is also a clear need to have a fast ship in transit in order to be quickly at the scene of the accident to operate oil recovery when the spill is still well concentrated. It is also necessary to have a stable ship for rough weather conditions, which has oil recovery tools as well protected as possible from the sea in order to be able to operate in rather high sea states.


The objectives are:

  • to define the requirements of the OSH concept to respond to oil spill scenarios
  • to develop a trimaran vessel adapted for the OSH requirements
  • to develop and/or validate hydrodynamic simulations and optimisations of the performance of the OSH platform
  • to develop a recovery tool and a carriage that are adapted to the ship
  • to develop or further develop and integrate tools dedicated to oil recovery for different viscosity of pollutants
  • to evaluate/validate experimentally the ability of the tools to recover the pollutants
  • to develop and/or validate scenarios of oil recovery with the OSH system
  • to assess the final integration of the OSH concept
  • to study the possibilities of having a decision-support and mission-planning tool for OSH
  • to evaluate the price of the OSH system and its maintenance costs
  • to establish a technical and commercial documentation dedicated to promoting the system on the market and presenting the system to the European Safety Agency

The main deliverable is the definition of the integrated OSH concept (vessel, tools and systems), including its economical perspective.

Lamor brush skimmer tested with bitumen (1 000 000 cSt)
Lamor brush skimmer tested with bitumen (1 000 000 cSt)

Description of work

The following work is being carried out:

  • an adjustment of the OSH capacities and features to the identified situations of pollution and taking into account operational lessons from past accidents
  • the definition of a preliminary ship design regarding hull line definition and general arrangements, including the main design options (platform, hull form, propulsion and manoeuvring, functional area arrangement, stability in rough weather and speed for the recovery operations)
  • the design of oil recovery tools (brush type skimmer, oil separator), tool carriage and their integration on an OSH vessel
  • hydrodynamic calculations and tank tests aimed at optimising ship design in sea keeping (recovery operation) and powering (transit)
  • experimental tests in oil recovery performance for the skimmer (with different viscosities of oil)
  • the definition of an oil-spill mission and other complementary missions as the OSH is a multipurpose vessel
  • the development of a prototype of a mission-planning tool
  • the assessment of the economical potentials of the OSH
  • final project integration, including a parametric study, final technical definition, overall performance of the OSH system, virtual 3D prototype for demonstrations of the concept
  • the development of the OSH project documentation for promotional and exploitation purposes.


The following results will be achieved:

  • specifications of the OSH concept
  • preliminary design of the trimaran OSH vessel
  • oil recovery tools adapted for the OSH
  • optimised hydrodynamic performances in sea keeping and powering, through numerical simulations and tank tests
  • validated oil recovery performances through experimental tests
  • definition of the OSH mission in oil spill response
  • definition of other complementary missions for OSH
  • demonstration of the prototype of the mission-planning tool in oil-spill scenarios
  • final integration of the OSH concept, including demonstrations with virtual 3D prototype
  • economical perspective of OSH
  • full documentation of OSH for promotion and exploitation.
OSH trimaran vessel
OSH trimaran vessel