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LOGISTICS


SECTION SPONSOR


SUCCESSFUL OFFSHORE WIND FARM LOGISTICS


A dictionary definition of ‘logistics’ is ‘the detailed planning and organisation of any large complex operation’. When taking into account the weather, sometimes adverse sea conditions, the distance out at sea and the number of people involved, the installation and maintenance of 400’ high wind turbines that constitute a wind farm must count amongst the more challenging.


UNPRECEDENTED GROWTH In an effort to increase the generation of clean electricity to comply with international targets, the past decade has seen an unprecedented rise of wind farms off the UK’s seaboard, especially in the North Sea. The unique meteorology in this area, the relative shallowness of the water and the geology of its sea bed itself, fit well with the conditions needed to build, maintain and run a wind farm successfully.


In the past few years, energy companies have installed 140 turbines at the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm off the coast of Suffolk, 88 at the Sheringham Shoal site off the Norfolk coast, 54 at the Lynn and Inner Dowsing, 75 at the Lincs in the Wash and 30 at Scroby Sands 1.6 miles offshore from Great Yarmouth.


RECOGNISING POTENTIAL This is only part of the bigger picture, but this section of UK coastal waters is nearest to the home of Tidal Transit, based in the small Norfolk village of Docking. The key element to success for Tidal Transit is the use of purpose-designed vessels.


Run by Leo Hambro and Adam Wright, Tidal Transit began life as a leisure fishing trip business. Realising in 2010 that the offshore wind industry was set to expand very quickly and that people working on the sites would need to get to work and back again safely, these two businessmen saw an opening in the market, took the plunge, and invested heavily in passenger transfer vessels (PTVs).


RISING TO THE CHALLENGE Having increased its fleet of PTVs to four, with more in the pipeline, this young company, operating in a young industry, has risen to the challenge of transporting personnel and materials out to sea in all weathers. It is playing a major part in the development of the offshore wind farm industry.


The specifications of Tidal Transit’s vessels greatly exceed the current fleet being used for the same purpose in the UK. The vessels MCA Cat 1 coding and 9,000 litre fuel tanks allow them to work up to 150 miles offshore, well within the range of the UK’s forthcoming Round 3 offshore wind farms. Each vessel provides four crew members and twelve passengers with comfortable beds, bathrooms, galley, internet access and entertainment facilities, allowing wind farm engineers and support technicians to live and work offshore for several days at a time.


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www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


EAST OF ENGLAND SPOTLIGHT ON


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