Windea Leibniz ready to boost offshore wind power expansion in the Baltic and North Sea

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The BSM-managed Service Operation Vessel (SOV) Windea Leibniz has finished an extensive upgrade at Ulstein Shipyard in Norway, making her even more attractive for the offshore market.

With an increase of cabins from 60 to over 80, the vessel has transitioned from an SOV to a Commissioning Service Operation Vessel (CSOV). Additionally, the ship received one extra pedestal on the stern for Baltic Sea operations to complement the existing pedestal for North Sea use.

The upgrade of Windea Leibniz was timed perfectly as European governments want to expand renewable energy capacities in the Baltic and North Sea, points out BSM (Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement). Last year the EU had a capacity of approximately 15 gigawatts (GW) in offshore wind power production. Germany alone is aiming to double their capacities by 2030. According to the German government, this equals an expansion of offshore wind energy to at least 30 GW by 2030, with at least 40 GW of installed capacity by 2035 and at least 70 GW by 2045.

“Offshore wind is an essential part for the success and the transformation of the energy sector towards sustainable and green solutions. The upgrade makes Windea Leibniz even more attractive for the market,” says Matthias Mueller, Managing Director of shipowner Bernhard Schulte Offshore.

“Windea Leibniz is now ready to support the planned offshore wind power expansion in Northern Europe. The ultra-modern SOV was built in 2017 at Ulstein Shipyard for Bernhard Schulte Offshore to efficiently service offshore wind farms in the North Sea. The vessel functions as a reliable and environmentally sound platform for wind farm operations and maintenance support, technician accommodation and transport, and the provision of safe and reliable access to offshore installations.

The upgrade included a 50% increase of accommodation capacities on board. Therefore, extensive reconstruction measures including shifting of the changing/drying rooms, conference rooms and day rooms were executed. In total the cabin capacity was increased from 63 to 81 cabins. Now Windea Leibniz can accommodate up to 85 technical staff for wind farms, service personnel and crew.

The second major milestone was the installation of a new height-adjustable pedestal for the motion compensating gangway, making the vessel more flexible in offshore wind farms. Now the gangway can operate in a range between 17.5 metres and 23 metres height above waterline when fully extended.

The third milestone focused on the installation of a second pedestal for the gangway at stern. It enables Windea Leibniz to also sail in offshore wind parks in the Baltic Sea where service platforms are generally lower located than in the North Sea.

Rainer Mueller, Captain on the Windea Leibniz, says: “With the two new pedestals, we are more flexible when approaching the service platforms for the wind turbines. There is no uniform standard for the height of the platforms in North Sea wind farms. After the yard stay, we can now vary with the height of our gangway. With the Baltic pedestal at stern, we can easily switch our gangway from the North Sea height to the lower Baltic Sea height, which makes us even more flexible when working in different wind farm regions.”

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