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WORKBOATS


FEATURE SPONSOR


The right vessel for the job


With the development of offshore windfarms in Britain’s coastal waters looking set to continue in the years ahead, developers and operators are rightly becoming ever more selective when choosing the vessels for their projects. As more offshore windfarms reach the construction stage, so vessel designers and ship builders are coming up with variations and options to meet what is becoming a diverse demand.


SIZE AND DISTANCE FROM SHORE There are currently 23 operational windfarms off the coast of the UK, ranging from the small Beatrice in northern Scotland to the 160 turbines of Gwynt y Môr off the coast of North Wales. Distances from shore vary tremendously with Blyth offshore being just 1.6 kms from land whilst Greater Gabbard is 23 kms offshore. It’s worth bearing in mind that the actual distances travelled from the operational port to site as opposed from landfall to site, increases these figures considerably.


The Dudgeon offshore windfarm, which is now under construction off the North Norfolk coast, is even further away at 32 kms, and with planned developments such as Dogger Bank being at even great distances out to sea, the need for a diverse range of vessel types has been acknowledged. This is clearly demonstrated by the decision of the Dudgeon operations team to charter a Service Operational Vessel (SOV) to facilitate and support the maintenance of the Dudgeon offshore windfarm.


ON THE EAST COAST


The shallow waters and high wind speeds off the UK’s eastern seaboard has resulted in a significant percentage of the existing and planned windfarms being located in the North Sea. However working in the North Sea presents serious challenges, as the water is often rough and the swells high. It therefore follows that the types of vessel used in both the construction and operational phases of a windfarm are of vital importance to the health and safety and efficiency of all those working on site.


PTV ANSWER


Tidal Transit is one of the most successful companies providing PTVs for the transfer of windfarm personnel from land to offshore windfarm sites. It has built a fleet of purposed- designed vessels each of which provides four crew members and twelve passengers with comfortable beds, bathrooms, galley, internet access and entertainment facilities, allowing windfarm engineers and support technicians to live and work offshore for up to several days at a time.


Each vessel has been in constant use since its arrival from its Spanish boat builder, and over the last 5 years they have been variously on charter at Greater Gabbard, Sheringham Shoal, Westermost Rough and Gwynt y Môr.


Rugged GRP construction enables the company’s vessels to operate in rough seas – a major advantage when working in the North Sea. Twin V12 MAN engines facilitate speeds of up to 27 knots when carrying twelve passengers, the crew, and their on-board cargo.


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www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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