An offshore support vessel has been upgraded and fitted with new equipment to support offshore windfarms and is working on a long-term contract for transmission system operator TenneT.
Rhenus Offshore Logistics, working in conjunction with A1 Offshore Solutions, started operating the supply vessel on 1 January 2019.
The end customer, TenneT, is using the ship to supply offshore platforms and for inspection and repair work on structures and submarine cables. The vessel is operating from the port of Emden.
Connector Express, which was built in 2002, was converted for its new role at Fayard shipyard in Odense, Denmark, between October and December 2018. It was fitted with an accommodation module to house up to 40 offshore technicians. The vessel also has free deck space of more than 700 m2, a crane with a lifting capacity of up to 26 tonnes and a cargo rail crane with a maximum hoisting capacity of 10 tonnes.
Connector Express can also deploy two remotely operated underwater vehicles and has a platform for an unmanned aerial vehicle or drone, seabed sonar and an ultra-short baseline acoustic positioning system.
For the time being the vessel is mainly being used to service six offshore converter platforms in German waters which are operated by TenneT. Three more platforms are expected to be added to the list of installations being supported by the vessel in 2019.
Rhenus said it has chartered Connector Express on a long-term deal and more projects are in the planning stage.
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