New vessels due to arrive at Sheringham ShoalVessel & ROV News // June 6, 2011
The new crane vessel the Oleg Strashnov was due to arrive back at the Sheringham Shoal offshore windfarm site recently after a trip to Vlissingen in Holland to pick up further monopiles, and is scheduled to resume foundation installations.
A new vessel operated by Visser and Smit, Smit Constructor, was also due to arrive. Constructor will be carrying out secondary work in support of the windfarm construction, installing X-Beams, bellmouths, J-tubes and PE pipes which provide the infrastructure required for the connections between the turbines and the substations for the transfer of electricity generated.
Constructor is also equipped for the necessary diving work involved in these operations. Currently persons on board number 61, although again this will fluctuate according to activity.
Commissioning work on the two offshore substations was due to be getting under way, and typically there will be around 20 commissioning engineers on each substation during the hook up and commissioning phase (the maximum number possible per substation is 24 people).
To accommodate the commissioning team during this phase a floating hotel, or Flotel, Wind Ambition has been contracted. 162m long and with a breadth of 28m, Wind Ambition can accommodate 137. Formerly named King of Scandinavia, she served as a ferry on a route between Harwich/Newcastle and Esbjerg (Denmark) for a number of years.
During the remainder of the construction period the flotel will accommodate around 80 people at any one time, as the windfarm workers use her as their base during their offshore rotas.
Until the arrival of the Wind Ambition approximately 35 people per day had been transported to and from the windfarm via Wells Outer Harbour to carry out jobs offshore, so the flotel will provide accommodation right next to the site, minimising traffic in and out of Wells Harbour.
In support of the above vessels and the construction activity, various personnel transfer boats like the high speed craft Vidar and the guard vessel Observer will operate in the field. The larger vessels like the Oleg Strashnov will also be supported by anchor handlers like the tugs the Boulder and the Typhoon.
All in all as the windfarm construction activity develops there will typically be around 400 people working offshore.
The Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm is owned equally by Statoil and Statkraft through the joint venture company Scira Offshore Energy Limited. Statoil is the operator for the project during the development phase. Scira will operate the wind farm once completed.