When one hears “off shore energy” in the marine sector, it is the petroleum industry that comes most readily to mind. Now a Shetland vessel chartering company has taken delivery of a boat with specialized equipment to support the maintenance of off shore wind-powered electrical generating units.
Serving a function similar to that of Gulf of Mexico jack-up boats the new vessel has two 15-meter spud legs to hold it in position while servicing the wind mills. The portside push bows have a gap to suit the four-meter base of wind-farm piles, allowing the vessel to push up against the pile without fear of sliding off. The harder you push the less motion is felt at the bow of the vessel therefore allowing the safe transfer of personnel and heavy parts, gearboxes or motors which typically weight 6.5 tons. Additional accommodation is provided for service technicians as well.
With UK Governments committed to generating 15% of electricity from renewable sources by 2015 significant growth is expected in the off shore wind-farm market. A representative of Delta Marine, has said, “We have previously undertaken work on offshore wind-farms in Denmark and off the English coast but found our current fleet not ideally suited to the work.
The Voe Viking will give us greater flexibility and allow us to take on other aspects of the construction and maintenance of offshore projects.”
Launched from the Damen shipyard at Hardinxveld the Netherlands the boat is built on their Damen Multi Cat 2611 design. The 26- by 11.5-meter vessel is extremely versatile with capabilities in anchor handling, dredger service, supply, towing, hose handling, survey and ship assist. The Voe Viking is classed
Bureau Veritas I °Ë HULL . MACH Tug, unrestricted navigation, Nat. Authorities: MCA workboat class 1, 150 miles off shore.
Towing power for the vessel, which is rated with a 33-ton bollard pull, is provided by three Cummins KTA38 M0 delivering a total of 1791 bkW at 1800 RPM to Reintjes WAF 464 gears with 6:1 reductions and turning 1700 m/m propellers in nozzles. The triple engine configuration delivers large power while maintaining a shallow 2.25-meter draft for inshore work. The triple engine configuration allows great versatility in that the two outside engines are used for close and harbor maneuvering while all three can be used for towing and for traveling light, the centre-line engine delivers adequate power for hull speed providing green fuel economy.
In addition to a 30-ton towing winch the vessel has 100-ton anchor handling winch and two 13-ton tugger winches. Delta Marine’s history in marine construction is evident in the thoughtful deck layout and equipment. The crane and deck layout allows floating pipelines to be lifted on board the complete length of the vessel to enable safe connection and maintenance work on the joints.
Large anchors, of 16 tons or more can be lifted over the bow and placed aft with the after crane, allowing more workspace forward. The winch layout and placement of two horizontal deck rollers allows all three winches and the 5 ton capstan
to be used over the bow or stern. Both cranes can work over the bow, the aft crane being able to lift 14 tons over the stern and 10 tons over the bow. Container fittings welded into the deck are placed so as to allow the vessel to continue anchor handling and crane operations while the containers are in use by, for instance. a dive or survey team.
Hydraulic power is provided by a 400 kW Cummins N14 engine. A pair of 89 kW generators are also Cummins powere
d. For maintaining position and general maneuverability the boat has a 360 degree 200 kW bow thruster.
The Voe Viking's three main and three auxiliary engines are all Cummins. A Delta Marine spokesman explains that the company chose them because they were satisfied with the performance of Cummins engines on their previous vessel. "We were impressed that we could have them serviced without the use of highly specialised equipment.
All that's required is the services of a good engineer," he said, adding that. "We chose the KTA 38M because it is at the low end of its power range and we wanted an engine that would last as long as possible and was easy to maintain. Cummins was the obvious choice for the new build as our men are now familiar with them."
The Voe Viking is the fourth vessel in the company’s charter fleet.