SBSS Expands Fleet With New Cable Ship CS Fu Tai

Berthed at SBSS’s Wujing cable depot, the Fu Tai will shortly assume international telecom cable maintenance duties in Asia.SBSS Press Release
February 4, 2022

On 3rd February 2022, S.B. Submarine Systems Company Limited (SBSS), Asia’s leading provider of submarine cable installation and maintenance solutions, welcomed their latest fleet addition, cs Fu Tai, to Shanghai. The vessel has berthed at SBSS’s Wujing cable depot on the Huangpu River and she will shortly assume international telecom cable maintenance duties in Asia.

cs Fu Tai, ex-Bourbon Oceanteam 101, was originally built in Spain in 2007 as an offshore construction vessel (OCV). She was purchased by SBSS in July 2021 and has since been converted and mobilised as a bespoke cable ship. Her cable spread design and her newly installed equipment and machinery will primarily be utilized in the Asian submarine cable maintenance market.


With over twenty-six years’ experience in the submarine cable market, SBSS understands that having, and implementing, an asset strategy and a sensible tonnage replacement plan is critical to the company’s future.

Integral to our asset strategy, in early 2020 SBSS retired a stalwart of our cable ship fleet, CS Fu An. In the same year, SBSS invested in the 5,500t capacity power cable installation and maintenance barge Fu Yong 6. These investments, as well as various other actions taken in support of our company strategy, have proven to be timely. The company’s overall service capability in both our core telecom business, as well as our entry to the booming Chinese offshore wind market, is seeing SBSS thrive and grow.

cs Fu Tai now joins the fleet and, whilst numerically replacing CS Fu An, the new tonnage is of far superior build and capability. The current demand for tonnage in the submarine telecom sector, means that there will be no shortage of work for her in the foreseeable future. In July 2021, SBSS successfully took delivery of the vessel in Vigo, Spain and has reflagged the vessel from Malta to Panama.

Speaking of the latest acquisition, Managing Director Mr Simon Hibberd said “The arrival of cs Fu Tai demonstrates SBSS’s commitment to the submarine cable industry. This investment strengthens the ability of SBSS’s telecom fleet whilst cementing our leading position in the Asian submarine cable installation and maintenance sector. At SBSS, we are very proud of the part we play in keeping the world connected. Now that the considerable work involved in the acquisition, repositioning, conversion, mobilisation, commissioning and sea trials of Fu Tai are complete, she will be set to cable maintenance duties in our region, operating out of Shanghai. I am confident that this quality platform, to which we have also mobilised a very powerful Q1000 trenching ROV, will exceed our customers’ expectations.”


Changes in the telecom space in recent years have seen considerable efforts made by end users to reduce the total cost of ownership of a cable system and this has affected both the cable installation and maintenance markets. The conversion of cs Fu Tai has taken into account the need by service providers to offer a reliable and cost-effective solution to customers.

Cable installation and maintenance capability

Post conversion, this DP2 vessel now has a cable carrying capacity of 3,000 tonnes in two main static cable tanks, and is equipped with capable cable handling machinery, 18kV Power Feed equipment, Power Grounding Unit (PGU), Universal Jointing spreads and a full suite of modern telecom cable test equipment.

Q1000 trenching ROV

cs Fu Tai is fitted with a Q1000 ROV – a high-powered state-of-the-art subsea trenching vehicle that can achieve three metre cable burial in a single pass.

Beyond telecommunication

Initially built as an OCV to support the oil and gas industry, cs Fu Tai is fuel efficient being powered by four 2,700kW high quality Wartsila units. She has excellent station-keeping capability, a comfort class DNV notation, a 70t active heave-compensated (AHC) crane and hence the ability to perform a variety of offshore construction works.

cs Fu Tai makes a perfect addition to SBSS’s current fleet. We have enjoyed working with our chosen design house, Vanx Marine, to refine the cable spread and with Changhong International Shipyard, to convert her into a bespoke cable ship. Being an ex-offshore construction vessel with a good track record in the oil and gas industry, I am confident of her continued success in the submarine telecom sector.”, says Mack Wang, the Fleet Operation Director of SBSS.


Leonard Liu, the Vice Managing Director of SBSS comments, “the SBSS fleet has historically adopted ‘Fu’ as the starting character for our marine assets. In China, ‘Fu’ symbolizes good fortune and blessing. ‘Tai’ in Chinese reflects peace and stability. We have named the vessel Fu Tai, to reflect both our hope that she will bring SBSS a bright future as well as reflecting on a disrupted world.”