Offshore energy support vessel operator Seacat Services has placed an order for up to four new vessels with local boat builder South Boats IoW. The DNV-GL class-certified next generation 23- and 27-meter catamarans have been specifically designed to cater for the changing needs of European offshore projects.
As the offshore wind industry matures, the expectations of developers and operators regarding energy support vessel availability, reliability and passenger comfort, are continuing to grow. In established markets, such as the U.K. and Germany, larger, deepwater projects are commencing construction, and the latest 27-meter vessel, Seacat Enterprise, will provide a new platform with which to serve these projects.
Specifically, the new 27-meter vessel will be able to carry four 20-foot containers, or a combination of sizes, in addition to its regular complement of 24 wind farm personnel. Furthermore, with 40,000 liters of fuel available, Seacat Enterprise will be able to operate consistently for extended periods offshore.
The multipurpose nature of the vessel, together with its new active fender system, therefore offer an autonomous combination of crew transfer and resupply in deepwater construction and operations and maintenance.
Additionally, with the two 23-meter vessels on order, the Seacat fleet now comprises a diversity and fleet functionality rarely available in offshore energy services businesses. With new offshore projects emerging in the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and France, Seacat Services is able to match the vessel to the individual client workscope, with varying ranges of speed, passenger comfort and payload delivery.
Imperative to this process has been the hard fought experience of Seacat Services in its operations to date, coupled with its long-standing relationship with manufacturer, South Boats IoW. Regular feedback from the crews and clients offshore, along with extensive knowledge of the marine and offshore energy sectors, has allowed Seacat Services to partner with South Boats to build innovative energy support vessels.
With Seacat Mischief currently on sea trials and Seacat Magic preparing to join Seacat Services’ operational fleet in February 2016, these four new catamarans, named Seacat Freedom (23 meters), Seacat Enterprise (27 meters), Seacat Liberty (23 meters) and Seacat Weatherly (27 meters), are scheduled for launch at strategic points throughout 2016 and 2017.
Once complete, these vessels, built to a custom design specification, will extend Seacat Services’ fleet to fifteen as well as significantly increasing the £30 million that the firm has thus far injected into the local Isle of Wight economy.
“Despite financial challenges to established offshore markets, round three projects are still set to go ahead, and these will require greater capability and flexibility from support vessels,” said Ian Baylis, Managing Director, Seacat Services. “Our latest order, which includes an all new design 27-meter vessel, will help Seacat Services prepare for the needs of these projects.”
“In addition, other European markets are stepping up their offshore plans, and the increase in our fleet should help meet the growing demands these present.”
“With the combination of vessels we have available, we feel that we can provide a new versatility in transfer and supply rarely equaled in the offshore wind industry.”
Steve Thacker, Director, South Boats IOW, added, “Despite Seacat Services’ strong European presence, it has not lost sight of its commitment to the Isle of Wight community. Not only has it invested substantially into the local economy, it has also dedicated significant amounts of time and energy into establishing the Isle of Wight as an international renewables hub. This latest order will only help forward that cause.”