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Offshore Wind Journal

Marine supporter responds to evolving walk-to-work market

Thu 21 Feb 2019 by David Foxwell

Marine supporter responds to evolving walk-to-work market
Acta Centaurus, which has the designer’s well known X-Bow and X-Stern, is approaching completion at Ulstein Verft in Norway

Acta Marine’s latest newbuild combines stepless transfer for offshore personnel with a ‘smart hotel’ experience for those living on board the vessel

As the walk-to-work market evolves, so vessel owners are responding with new designs and new ways of working, among them Acta Marine Wind Services, whose latest newbuild Acta Centuarus is due to be delivered in Q2 2019.

The hull of the new vessel, an Ulstein SX195, arrived at Ulstein Verft in Norway in December, and is currently being fitted out. On delivery, Acta Centaurus will join Acta Auriga and Acta Orion in Acta Marine’s growing fleet of walk-to-work vessels that provide offshore logistics and accommodation services for clients in the offshore renewable and offshore energy industry.

As Acta Marine Wind Services general manager Simon Anink told the 2019 Offshore Wind Journal Conference in London in February, Acta Centaurus was designed to provide clients with safe, stepless transfer using a motion-compensated gangway from SMTS in the Netherlands. The gangway has an integrated tower and can transfer personnel and cargo in sea states of up to a significant wave height of 3 m (Hs 3.0 m).

Capable of working over both sides of the vessel, the gangway and tower with integrated elevator allow for stepless cargo and people flow from different deck levels to the gangway platform without exposing them to the weather. Apart from transferring people, the gangway is also capable of lifting cargo of up to 1 tonne with motion compensation and handling trolleys loaded with 300 kg Euro pallets. The motion-compensated gangway is complemented by the 3D motion-compensated knuckleboom crane, which is capable of handling 20 tonnes without compensation and 6 tonnes of cargo with compensation in up to Hs 2.5 m. At maximum draft, the crane can lift loads to 36 m above water level. It has a working radius of between 5.0 m and 29.5 m.

Among the other key features of the high spec vessel are a detachable boat landing that can be fitted on both sides of the vessel for landing crew transfer vessels (CTVs) and a CTV refuelling station. Acta Centaurus also uses a smart container skidding and seafastening system, is fitted with a fast rescue craft and has sufficient deck space for a larger daughter craft. The new vessel also has a helideck. Thanks to the efficient use of space, the vessel offers 500 m2 indoor cargo space and 500 m2 of cargo space on the weather deck. A total of 24 twenty-foot equivalent units can be stored on the two deck levels allowing clients to embark the equipment necessary for longer offshore campaigns.

Accommodation is provided for 120 people, including the ship’s crew. The accommodation areas were designed with a primary focus of ensuring that windfarm technicians resident on the ship are as well-rested as possible. With this in mind Acta Centaurus provides 80 cabins compliant with ‘DNV Comfort Class level 2.’ There are also multiple lounges and recreational spaces. The accommodation areas have wireless internet access and cabins are equipped with integrated entertainment systems with ‘bring your own device’ functionality, together with television and video on demand services.

Acta Centaurus has Ulstein’s now well-known X-Bow and X-Stern hullform which has a number of benefits compared with a conventional hullform. These include greater flexibility and operability while working offshore, with the X-Stern allowing for astern operation more than 70% of the time, leading to optimal stationkeeping and manoeuvrability when operating in an offshore windfarm. Last, but by no means least, the hullform also significantly reduces slamming, noise and vibrations and hence increases crew comfort.

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