DONG Energy and offshore wind transfer vessel operator Seacat Services has confirmed a 12-month, two workboat crew transfer deal to support construction operations at the 210MW Westermost Rough Offshore Wind Farm.
The Round 2 UK offshore wind project, which began offshore construction in late February, will become the first wind farm to use the Siemens 6MW turbine on a commercial scale, anywhere in the world.
With all 35 turbines to be fully commissioned by mid-2015, construction on the 35 square kilometre site will demand the highest possible level of workboat and crew availability – a challenge that can present significant concerns for developers when undertaking large-scale installations far out to sea.
To address this, Seacat Services will deploy two DNV class-certified, British-built workboats, powered by two MTU diesel engines driving water jets. When fully laden, each vessel has the capability to accommodate 12 technicians, up to 3 STCW-certified crew and 15 tonnes of equipment and on-deck cargo, while reaching speeds of over 25 knots.
Combined, the two workboats have already accumulated in excess of 5,000 operational hours spent working on a range of different UK and European offshore wind initiatives.
“As offshore wind farm owners and investors look to develop, construct and commission increasingly ambitious new power projects within tight time parameters, it’s imperative that external suppliers, contractors and support staff have the experience and equipment necessary to keep new developments on budget and on track,” said Ian Baylis, Managing Director, Seacat Services.
“With the importance of establishing and maintaining an strong supply chain already well-documented, the success of our work at Westermost Rough Offshore Wind Farm will be judged on the efficient and safe, regular transit of cargo and crew.
“At completion the turbines are expected to stand in water of between ten and twenty five metres. Given this and the pioneering use of the new 6MW turbine, we look forward to working with all parties active on this critical site throughout 2014.”
The first workboat, Seacat Reliance, is already operational and in use on the site. She will be joined by a sister vessel, in June 2014, following the completion of a successful charter elsewhere.
The Westermost Rough Offshore Wind Farm charter deal is the latest confirmed offshore wind farm support agreement to be undertaken by the six-strong Seacat Services fleet.
In 2014, Seacat Services launched its latest DNV class-certified vessel, 24-metre Seacat Volunteer, with sea trials having taken place throughout January. A further DNV class-certified 24-metre workboat will be launched in June 2014 and two 26-metre workboats, already in build, are scheduled to be launched in October 2014 and January 2015 respectively.
The completion and launch of the new vessels underlines Seacat Services commitment to provide the market with first-class transit equipment capable of operating throughout Europe and during the harshest of weather conditions.