With construction of the Deutsche Bucht offshore windfarm in Germany almost complete, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind has taken delivery of the purpose-built service operation vessel Esvagt Albert Betz, the vessel that will support operations and maintenance on the windfarm once fully operational
Esvagt Albert Betz has been contracted to service the V164-8.4 MW turbines on the windfarm for an initial period of 15 years.
Esvagt project director Gerner Eskelund said of the vessel, “In designing the ship we utilised our extensive knowledge of SOVs and experience from working on offshore windfarms and have optimised the design so that the ship is adapted and tailored specifically to the tasks that await it.”
Esvagt and MHI Vestas have been collaborating since 2008. Another vessel owned and operated by the company, Esvagt Mercator, services the Nobelwind and Belwind offshore windfarms in Belgium.
The new SOV is a Havyard 831 design similar to Esvagt Mercator, but has been adapted to meet the specific requirements of the Deutsche Bucht project. “This SOV is a great example of the flexibility in SOV design,” said Mr Eskelund.
“Compared to Esvagt Mercator, which uses Esvagt’s STB 7 and STB 12 safe transfer boats to access turbines, Esvagt Albert Betz has a walk-to-work gangway system installed. This requires the ability to hold position very close to a turbine which is why the vessel is equipped with increased thruster and generator capacity.”
With a length of 58 m, Esvagt Albert Betz is a relatively compact SOV with a focus on optimising the available space and on integrating innovative solutions that enhance efficiency and the work environment on board.
Mr Eskelund explained that the gangway system is combined with a large, stepless elevator designed for people and cargo, giving full access from the vessel’s stores to the upper deck and on to the turbines in the windfarm. “In combination with an integrated crane, this contributes to a stepless flow of spare parts, which is a considerable bonus for the work environment and efficiency,” he said.
Esvagt Albert Betz has accommodation for 42 wind turbine technicians and crew. The vessel was built at Zamakona shipyard in Bilbao, which also built other vessels for the company, including Esvagt Dana and Esvagt Aurora.
In September 2018, MHI Vestas and Esvagt entered into contracts for the delivery of two additional SOVs for the Borssele III-IV windfarms in the Netherlands and Triton Knoll windfarm in the UK. Both are due to be delivered in 2020. In 2021, another Esvagt SOV will also be delivered to work for MHI Vestas, this time on the Moray East project in the UK.