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OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE


FIRST UK CHARTER FOR WAVECRAFT SURFACE EFFECT SHIP


Tidal Transit recently announced that it would become the UK operator of the WaveCraft Umoe Firmus Surface Effect Ship, operating it alongside its existing fleet of purpose-designed offshore windfarm Personnel Transfer Vessels and the company has now finalised the first UK charter agreement for this exciting new vessel.


Statkraft has entered into an initial six month charter agreement, with a longer-term extension option, to use the WaveCraft to transport its O&M turbine technicians into its Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm field.


SHERINGHAM SHOAL


The 317MW Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm is located from 9-17 miles off the coast of North Norfolk in the southern North Sea and Umoe Firmus will operate from the port of Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk where the windfarm's O&M base is located.


SPECIFICATIONS


The WaveCraft uses an air cushion between its catamaran hulls to lift 80% of the vessel out of the water. The small draught that this creates provides the vessel with easy access to ports, especially those such as Wells-next-the-Sea which are subject to tidal restrictions. It also enables the vessel to travel at high speeds of 40 knots whilst maintaining a low fuel consumption resulting in a range of more than 700 nautical miles.


Importantly, managing the pressure of the air cushion according to wave height allows for smoother voyages and provides a greatly increased opportunity for access to turbines - up to wave heights of 2.5 metres, or even higher in a swell.


HISTORY


Tidal Transit Commercial Director Leo Hambro said: "By the time Umoe Firmus goes into service in February 2016, the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm will have been fully operational for over three years.


"During that time it has used a variety of vessels operating from the outer harbour at Wells-next-the-Sea to access the windfarm field, including 3 of our own Personnel Transfer Vessels, so Statkraft will be able to compare the WaveCraft's performance with its considerable vessel data and experience to date."


CONSTANT INNOVATION On behalf of Sheringham Shoal, Plant Manager Jason Halsey says: "As the operator of Sheringham Shoal, we are constantly looking at innovative ways to increase availability and lower the cost of operations for the owners. The combination of cutting edge technology and reliable partnership with Tidal Transit will enable us to extract the value we need from this charter. I am sure that all the other offshore windfarm projects in which Statkraft is involved will be keen to learn of Sheringham Shoal's experiences with WaveCraft."


OPERATIONAL TRAINING Later this year Tidal Transit crews will be undergoing operational training on the WaveCraft vessel which is being used at the Borkum Riffgrund Windfarm off the coast of Germany. "They are greatly looking forward to being back at Sheringham Shoal next year." concluded Leo Hambro.


Tidal Transit Limited


Click to view more info = Click to view video


www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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