Take a tour of the next generation offshore wind vessels heading for Grimsby 'home' port

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 26 Feb 2018

The two vessels that will revolutionise the delivery of offshore wind operations and maintenance from Grimsby are on their way!  

The first of the two brand new multi-million pound investments, Edda Passat, will be heading for the town’s Royal Dock this week.

She is badged up with the home port of Grimsby proudly on her hull, having been built in Spain, and completed sea trails out of the northern port of Gijon.

Østensjø Rederi©_Edda Mistral from GONDAN on Vimeo.

Once the team are familiar with her and she is mobilised, she will serve the recently completed Race Bank offshore wind farm, with Edda Mistral to follow in August, to serve Hornsea Project One.

Known as SOVs – service operation vessels – they will be used as “motherships” for the technicians engaged in the maintenance of the turbines.

Both are 81m long by 17m wide, and can accommodate 40 workers, in addition to a maritime crew of 20 people, all in separate cabins. 

Built by Astilleros Gondan at Puerto de Figueras, northern Spain, for Norwegian operator Østensjø Rederi, they are the 12th and 13th ordered since 2005, having been designed by Rolls Royce Marine.

Unlike the near shore wind farms served by vessels sailing daily from Port of Grimsby East, these will stay out in the field for a set period, and rather than butting up to the tower for technicians to transfer from craft to turbine – a heart-stopping moment for the most competent mariners – a motion compensated gangway system provides walk-to-work capability for the crew. An 11m work boat is also carried on board, should this not be possible, as well as a crane.

Kenneth Walland, chief executive of Østensjø Rederi, was in Puerto de Figueras to see the naming and launching of Edda Mistral and the naming of Edda Passat. He said: “Østensjø Rederi commenced the operation at Race Bank wind farm in August 2017 and are very happy that the first new build soon will cover the contract. 

“The fact that Ørsted, being the largest offshore wind operator, has put the faith in us is very important. Østensjø Rederi expects offshore wind to be a very important part of our operations in the future.” 

Godmothers of the vessels are Rebecca Goff, Ørsted’s UK-based senior maritime specialist for Edda Passat, and Trine Borum Bojsen, Copenhagen-based vice president of Ørsted, for Edda Mistral.

The vessels are looking at a potential 10-year initial charter, contracted for a five year fixed-term period, with five further one year options. 

Last week, introducing the concept of the East Coast Hub and how it will serve the farms to guests from the US, where Ørsted hopes to win the first industrial-scale wind farm consent in April, Philip Ford, lead stakeholder advisor for Ørsted said: “The first real growth for offshore wind was in the Irish Sea, but that has been eclipsed by the Humber over the past few years and the pipeline in the future is going to cement the Humber for offshore wind. There are going to be five projects led out of here, and that is groundbreaking stuff for offshore wind. It is going to be the world’s largest single operations and maintenance centre.”

Outlining the next generation vessels that will operate, with on older vessel currently serving as the Edda Passat was completed - with a slight tweak the change of emblazoned name from Dong to Ørsted since her launch back in April last year - Mr Ford added: “It is a world first taking that approach and with Hornsea Project One and Hornsea Project Two it will become the normal way of doing things.”

First SOV built in Spain - Launching from GONDAN on Vimeo.

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