Louisiana-based 2nd Wind Marine has announced plans to build a new type of vessel for the US offshore wind transport and installation market
The company said the SuperFeeder design, developed by naval architects MiNO Marine, is a Jones Act-compliant vessel that will be capable of transporting one complete set of next-generation wind turbine components from US marshalling ports to an installation vessel, enabling optimised construction using non-Jones Act turbine installation vessels.
In addition to operating as a feeder vessel, loading itself and transporting turbine components, the vessel will also be capable of operations and maintenance and of undertaking blade exchanges. 2nd Wind Marine said it is currently planning to build two vessels of the same type simultaneously. US shipyards have been engaged and are currently evaluating the design and preparing construction cost and timeline estimates.
The Subchapter I-compliant, 124.5-m vessel has a breadth of 40 m. The DP-2 dynamic positioning design would be propelled by three 2,500-kW Z-Drives with two 1,200-kW tunnel thrusters at the bow to enhance manoeuvrability and would be able to maintain 10 knots while laden. The vessels are to be primarily diesel-electric with medium speed Tier-IV engines.
The feeder vessels will be fitted with a Liebherr crane installed around a jacking leg with an offset pedestal, allowing access to more than 95% of the vessel’s deck space. The crane will be capable of lifting components from a quayside onto the vessel and with an extended boom it could also be used to change-out blades in the field.
The company said the design was developed to provide an efficient hullform suitable for a wide range of offshore conditions while minimising drag. The deckhouse is offset asymmetrically to the port side of the vessel to allow for more deck space to accommodate vertically stacked blade racks. Accommodation will be provided for 60 people, including 40 offshore workers. The cargo deck is rated to transport, and jack up with, 4,000 tonnes.
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