Offshore Wind Shift to Drive Vessel Services Cooperation
Evolving procurement processes for U.K. Round 3 offshore wind farms will require a greater number of work streams, personnel with new and differing skills, and the ability to provide a larger suite of services, according to offshore energy support firm Seacat Services.
As project developers look to manage cost bases, offshore wind vessel procurement packages will likely demand specialist expertise from operators that include a range of services encompassing not only offshore crew transfer, but also marine coordination, port logistics and technical personnel.
In order to serve these new and more extensive requirements, the offshore vessel service industry will need to consider news ways of working together. Over time, increased collaboration between support operators in sharing not only ongoing specific experiences while working on site, but also tasks and operations, will promote fleet access best practice and create future cost savings.
With construction for U.K. offshore wind set to plateau until late 2016 when the first Round 3 projects begin the build-out phase, the industry has an opportunity to take stock and consolidate the lessons of the last 10 years.
“Offshore wind procurement for vessels operations has come a long way,” said Ian Baylis, managing director at Seacat Services. “In the early days, procurement packages were much smaller and more disparate. Crew transfer, personnel, ports and logistics were all distinct and separate areas. As the offshore wind industry has evolved, however, developers are taking a more holistic look at how these services are procured.”
Seacat Services operates an expanding fleet of nine vessels from its base in Cowes on the Isle of Wight ranging from 21 to 26 meters.