Dedicated service operation vessels have been built for the offshore wind market in Europe, but Ta San Shang Marine’s newbuild is the first in the Asia Pacific region
In April 2020, offshore wind developer Ørsted signed a 15-year contract with Ta San Shang Marine Co Ltd, a joint venture of Taiwan’s Ta Tong Marine Group (TTM) and Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), that will see it charter the world’s first Taiwan-flagged service operation vessel (SOV).
The vessel will be chartered for operations and maintenance on Ørsted’s Greater Changhua offshore windfarms. The deal also represents the first bespoke SOV for use in Taiwan and in the Asia Pacific region.
Scheduled for delivery in early 2022, the SOV will use the Port of Taichung as its base, where Ørsted’s future O&M facilities will be located, due to its proximity to the sites, water depth and navigational access.
Ørsted Asia Pacific Taiwan general manager Christy Wang says, “Ørsted develops, constructs and operates offshore windfarms around the world and is pioneering and driving offshore wind development in Taiwan.
“Not only are we building the O&M base at Port of Taichung, we are also taking the lead in the region by deploying a bespoke SOV. More importantly, this SOV contract has given the Taiwanese vessel supplier a unique opportunity to tap into state-of-the-art technology in the offshore wind industry.”
MOL general manager offshore Yasuchika Noma says, “We are excited to work with Ta Tong Marine Group and Ørsted to build the SOV for Ørsted’s Greater Changhua windfarms. This marks an important step in expanding our presence in Taiwan’s offshore wind industry.”
The SOV is the first to be built to operate in the challenging and sometimes harsh environment in the Taiwan Strait. It will house up to 60 windfarm technicians plus crew and will only need to return to shore once a month.
The vessel will be prepared for fossil fuel-free operation and have an optimised hull design and a battery-hybrid setup to help reduce fuel consumption and reduce its carbon footprint.
Shortly after Ørsted made its announcement about the vessel, Norwegian shipbuilder and designer Vard was confirmed as the designer of the SOV.
The company said the SOV, of Vard 4 19 design, will be developed by Vard Design in close co-operation with the customer and partners.
The vessel will be built at Vard’s shipyard in Vung Tau in Vietnam and is scheduled for delivery in H1 2022.
The Vard 4 19 vessel for the Greater Changhua windfarm is a newly developed design for the challenging conditions in the Taiwan Strait.
“Through the development process, there has been a focus on optimising the hull design, safety, and comfort,” says Vard.
The 84.4-m vessel has a beam of 19.5 m and will accommodate 87 people in single cabins. Efficient logistics was also a focus area in developing the design, and the vessel has a height-adjustable motion-compensated gangway with an elevator, a height-adjustable boat transfer system and a 3D motion-compensated crane for cargo transfer.
For optimal efficiency, the hybrid vessel will be equipped with diesel-electric propulsion in combination with Vard’s SeaQ energy storage system.
A fully integrated SeaQ energy storage management system, SeaQ power management system and SeaQ integrated automation system will be delivered by Vard Electro.
“The hybrid vessel setup will provide reductions in fuel consumption, maintenance and emissions as well as improved responsiveness, flexibility and safety,” says Vard.
The Greater Changhua 1 & 2a offshore windfarms are 35-60 km off the coast of Changhua County and will have a capacity of approximately 900 MW. Construction of the offshore windfarms will be completed by 2022.
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