Wärtsilä and Aker Solutions to develop turbine installation vesselVessel & ROV News // March 30, 2011
Artist's concept showing the new wind turbine installation vessel.
Wärtsilä and Aker Solutions have agreed to combine their expertise to develop a new and environmentally sound concept for offshore windfarm installation vessels.
According to the contract, which was signed earlier this year, Wärtsilä will provide the design, electrical power generation, propulsion machinery and high-end automation, whilst Aker Solutions will supply the jacking system.
Wärtsilä, together with Aker Solutions, will also offer a 24/7 global support service for maintenance, repairs, and component supply to the vessels.
In a statement the two companies said they have "selected the best technologies for this custom-designed installation vessel, which enables a highly efficient way of setting up offshore wind power generation."
The three Wärtsilä 6L34DF and two Wärtsilä 9L20DF dual-fuel engines that will provide main and auxiliary power for the vessel can operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG) with low emissions.
Similarly, heat from the engine cooling system will be utilized to generate drinking water, and to supply hot water for use by the crew. The accommodation heating on board will also use the same heat source, while absorption chiller units will provide air conditioning during summer months.
Aker Solutions has applied its in-depth knowledge of the offshore drilling market to develop a continuous hydraulic jacking system for truss legs, which has been customized for high performance turbine installation vessels.
This jacking system has great benefits in regard to redundancy, and has a robust design for operations in harsh environments.
The new vessel concept will be marketed as a complete package. It will fulfil the industry's requirements for large deck space, sufficient crane capacity, year-round and all-weather operational capability and cost-efficient operating systems. It is designed for operating in the International Maritime Organization's emission control areas (ECAs).
"This new concept is already generating significant interest among that segment of the industry involved with the installation and maintenance of offshore windfarms," said Riku-Pekka Hägg, Vice President, Wärtsilä Ship Design.
"There is a notable demand for a high technology, and fully integrated installation vessel design having significant environmentally sound features. We are delighted to be in co-operation with Aker Solutions to fill this need that is especially significant in the North Sea area. We expect to get the first orders this year."