Work is well under way on a new type of crew transfer vessel that will provide offshore accommodation while transferring technicians to turbines as per a conventional unit.
In March 2019, the specialised ship design division of BMT attended a keel-laying ceremony for a 36-m service accommodation transfer vessel (SATV) that will be operated by Njord Offshore.
BMT has partnered with Penguin Shipyard International (PSI), an established builder of high-speed commercial vessels, to construct the new unit.
As previously highlighted by OWJ, the SATV is being chartered by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for use on the Formosa 1 offshore windfarm off the coast of Miaoli County in Taiwan. It will operate from the port of Taichung during the operations and maintenance phase of the offshore windfarm, starting in Q4 2019.
The vessel is capable of remaining offshore for at least seven days and will have 12 single cabins for wind turbine technicians. The vessel will be registered under the Taiwanese flag and manned by Taiwanese crew trained by Njord Offshore.
The design of the new SATV aims to push the boundaries of windfarm servicing and maintenance activity and provide a high level of operational versatility, providing long-term offshore accommodation while still being able to push up against a turbine to transfer technicians.
This flexibility provides a much more efficient operational profile for servicing turbines located further offshore and from the main ports, BMT said.
In addition to the SATV, BMT and PSI will construct a 26-m crew transfer vessel that will sit alongside the much larger SATV vessel. Both have been commissioned by Njord Offshore and PSA Marine.
The key function of both vessels is to transfer technicians safely onto the wind turbines. This is achieved using BMT’s patented active fender system (AFS). The AFS is available in a number of sizes and has been further developed specifically to meet the market needs for these larger vessels.
The AFS maintains the impact loading within safe operational limits thus ensuring the vessel can engage correctly and ensures improved and continuous contact between the vessel and the turbine allowing for safe transfers.
Passenger comfort has been optimised by ensuring all sleeping accommodation space is above main deck level where noise levels will be kept to a minimum through using a resiliently mounted super structure, both of which are said to be a first for a transfer vessel of this size.
Powered by twin MTU 16V2000 engines coupled to a Servogear controllable pitch propeller propulsion system, the 36-m SATV will transit at a speed of 19 knots and cruise at a speed of 16 knots, with a deadweight capacity of 65 tonnes.