Austal to design & construct three wind farm support vessels (WFSV) for UK's Turbine Transfer.
The 27 metre catamarans will be used by UK-based Turbine Transfers to support wind turbine installation and maintenance activities in European waters. Austal will build them at its shipyard in the Philippines over a period of approximately nine months, commencing in March 2013.
Rugged and versatile, the new Wind Express 27 catamarans will be able to transport 12 personnel and 10 tonnes of equipment/stores to and from turbines. This includes containerised items on forward and/or aft decks.
Powered by four Caterpillar C18 diesels and propelled and steered by Rolls Royce Kamewa waterjets, they will be able to operate at in excess of 27 knots. An Austal integrated monitoring, alarm and control system with touch screen interface will be configured such that all vessels functions are available from a central location on the bridge.
Austal’s advanced Z-bow hullform coupled with high tunnel clearance allows the Wind Express 27 to maintain higher speeds in waves than competing catamarans, reducing both exposure to seasickness and service times per turbine. A ride control system consisting of forward T-foils and transom interceptors is fitted to further reduce unwanted motion and provide dynamic trim control.
The vessels will normally operate with a crew of two, however the design includes four single berth cabins which makes it possible to operate around-the-clock with two crews of two. The cabins are in the superstructure, which is resiliently mounted to reduce noise and vibration transmitted from the hull.
The catamarans are being designed and built to Det Norske Veritas +1A1 HSLC Windfarm Service 1 R1 classification and United Kingdom MGN 280 Area Category 1 requirements.