Aberdeen-based Gulf Marine Services (GMS) UK Ltd has selected offshore engineering and technology company Osbit Ltd to deliver a boat landing and access system which will be fitted to a GMS jack-up accommodation vessel destined for DONG Energy’s Hornsea Project One wind farm.
The Self Elevating Support Vessel will, from 2018 onward, serve as an accommodation unit for technicians working on the wind farm.
The project is Osbit’s first contract win from GMS UK who required the development of a system to specifically facilitate crew transfers to and from a jacked-up vessel to crew transfer vessels (CTVs) and offshore wind transition stations.
Utilising an access tower with an integrated crew transfer vessel (CTV) boat landing, technicians will be able to safely access transfer vessels regardless of whether the GMS accommodation vessel is in a floating position or has been jacked-up to a pre-determined deck height of 21 metres above sea level, Osbit said.
Osbit’s system, in accordance with GMS’ requirements, is integral to allowing work crews to remain offshore, rather than making daily trips to and from shore and will facilitate up to 50 crew transfers each day. The vessel, and its sister accommodation vessel, will be deployed 120 kilometres off the Yorkshire coast.
The boat landing system will be raised and lowered into position using the vessel’s onboard crane, and will feature a waiting area and vessel interface that mirrors the buffer and ladder units found on traditional turbine transition pieces.
Duncan Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Marine Services, said: “The system gives our barges the ability to safely transfer personnel from crew transfer boats to our barges while remaining jacked up on location with the requisite air gap. Once again it reduces non-productive time for our client while enhancing and improving safety and comfort for those workers offshore who need to access offshore wind transition stations for hook up or maintenance.”
GMS’ design concept was progressed at Osbit’s headquarters in Riding Mill, Northumberland. The boat landing system will be fabricated in the region, supporting GMS’ local supply chain objectives, and the system will be installed when the vessel arrives in the North East at the start of 2018.
“The versatility of the system ensures transfers can take place without being affected by the jack-up vessel height and therefore won’t interfere with operations or substation access. As a result, the vessel can become a hub for technicians working on the substations or turbines, delivering more efficient and cost-effective use of the project’s offshore accommodation provision, while maintaining safety at all times,” Brendon Hayward, Managing Director of Osbit Ltd, said.
Thwe 1.2GW Hornsea Project One is located 120 kilometres off the Yorkshire Coast and covers an area of 407 square kilometers.
The wind farm will comprise 174 Siemens 7MW wind turbines, and once fully operational in 2020, it will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world.