Tidal transit secures their first UK charter
for the Umoe Firmus. Statkraft have entered six month charter agreement,
with a longer-term extension option, which covers the use of the WaveCraft
to transport its O&M turbine technicians into its Sheringham
Shoal Offshore Wind Farm field.
The 317MW Sheringham
Shoal Offshore Wind Farm is
located from 9-17 miles off the coast of North Norfolk in the southern
North Sea, and Umoe
operate from the port of Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk where the wind farm's
O&M base is located.
The WaveCraft is a Surface Effect Ship [SES]
which uses an air cushion between its catamaran hulls to lift 80% of the
vessel out of the water. The small draught that this creates provides the
vessel with easy access to ports, and enables it to travel at high speeds
[40 knots] whilst maintaining a low fuel consumption resulting in a range
of more than 700 nautical miles.
Importantly, managing the pressure of the air cushion according to wave
height allows for smoother voyages and provides a greatly increased opportunity
for access to turbines - up to wave heights of 2.5 metres, or even higher
in a swell.
Tidal Transit Commercial Director Leo Hambro
said: "By the time
goes into service in February 2016,
Sheringham Shoal Offshore
Wind Farm will have been fully operational for over three years.
"During that time it has used a variety
of vessels operating from the Outer Harbour at Wells-next-the-Sea to access
the wind farm field, including 3 of our own Personnel Transfer Vessels,
so Statkraft will be able to compare the WaveCraft's performance with its
considerable vessel data and experience to date."
On behalf of Sheringham Shoal, Plant Manager
Jason Halsey says: "As the operator of Sheringham
Shoal, we are constantly
looking at innovative ways to increase availability and lower the cost
of operations for the owners. The combination of cutting edge technology
and reliable partnership with Tidal Transit will enable us to extract the
value we need from this charter. I am sure that all the other offshore
wind farm projects in which Statkraft is involved will be keen to learn
of Sheringham Shoal's experiences with WaveCraft."
Later this year Tidal Transit crews will be
undergoing operational training on the WaveCraft vessel which is being
used at the Borkum
Riffgrund Wind Farm off the
coast of Germany. "They are greatly looking forward to being back
Shoal next year," comments
The 317MW Sheringham
Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, which
is operated by Statkraft, is situated between 9-17 miles off the coast
of North Norfolk, and in 2014 its 88 wind turbines produced 1088GWh, sufficient
electricity for 260,000 UK homes.