New innovative concept in offshore wind market

World Marine Offshore secures order with the Norwegian shipyard, Fjellstrand for delivery of six windfarm vessels.The offshore wind industry is experiencing a dynamic growth and with this new order, Fjellstrand has made a solid entry to the market. Fjellstrand has answered the industry’s challenge of making fuel-efficient vesselswhich provide stable,safe and effective access to the wind mills.

The offshore wind industry seeks to maximise operability and safety as wind farms move further offshore; into rougher waves andstronger winds. With support from the Carbon Trust, Fjellstrand has addressed these market requirementsand developed a new concept, the “WindServer”, for the transportation of technicians and components to the wind mills. The new WindServer trimaran SWATH design introduces a new level in sea-keeping performance and transport efficiency.

All six vessels will enter services in 2013 for major wind farm operators. World Marine Offshore A/S, located in Esbjerg, Denmark, has also secured several optional vessels, resulting in a significant order for Fjellstrand AS.

“With the fast growing offshore wind market, we see an increasing demand for high quality support vessels, that will be able to operate in higher waves at the wind farms, while ensuring higher performance in a safer way. The Fjellstrand WindServer is matching our requirements to a state of the art multifunctional vessel. The flexibility of these vessels enables us to operate with various tasks offshore i.e. crew transfer, cargo transfer, search & rescue, survey, diving operations, so we are confident that this major investment in a safe, modern and efficient fleet will contribute to the further development of World Marine Offshore as a leading company providing Safety & Support offshore” concludes Peter Lykke-Kjeldsen.

The contract with World Marine Offshore A/S represents a significant milestone for Fjellstrand in pursuing new markets within renewable energy, says Nils Aadland, Managing Director at Fjellstrand. -It incorporates over 30 years expertise with aluminium fast ferries, advanced motion dampening systems and offshore special vessels (OSV).

The aluminium hulls will be delivered in two sizes,25metresand30 metresin length, carrying 12 and 24 service personnelrespectively, with a service speed of 25 knots. Four engine installations powering two controllable pitch propellers ensure redundancy and flexibility to the operation. The vessels will be equipped with ballasting systems to shift between rough weather SWATH mode and light weight transit mode. This, in combination with anintegrated stabilizing­­­­­­­­ foil, ensuresa robust hull with low maintenance costs.

“The foil will have no moving parts”, says naval architect Olav Kjetil Opheim who has been managing the WindServer project from its conception. When asked to elaborate he points to the fact that by minimising the number of complex installations,you also keep the investment and maintenance costs to a minimum. “Extensive model tank testing proves that this innovative hull ensures exceptional sea-keeping at both zero and high speeds.”

In 2011, the Fjellstrand WindServer was announced as one of 13 shortlisted concepts (from a total of 450 entries) of the Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) access competition.The competition aimed to identify and develop new access systems to dramatically improve the availability of turbines and the safety of people during the transfer to turbines.

The Carbon Trust, a UK non-profit organisation funded mainly by the British Government, endeavours to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative concepts that reduce carbon emissions and save energy.The OWA is acollaboration between the Carbon Trust and eight international energy companies (SSE Renewables, Statoil, DONG Energy, RWE Innogy, Scottish Power Renewables, Statkraft, Mainstream Renewable Power and E.ON) with licenses to 60% of the UK’s offshore wind capacity.

The combination of the Carbon Trust support and the significant operational experience from the team at World Marine Offshore has given Fjellstrand a unique insight into the challenges faced by the vessel operators.

Together with the on-going construction of two large offshore vessels and four aluminium constructionsfor offshore projects, this will secure continuous high activityfor Fjellstrand through 2013.

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