Photo: Copyright: GustoMSC

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Next generation vessels to combat the future

Schiedam based naval engineering consultancy GustoMSC is actively engaged in offshore wind since the start of this century and now a world-leading jack-up installation vessel developer with almost 70% market share. We spoke with new concepts project manager Andries Hofman about past experiences and the huge challenges faced with next-generation vessels for future turbines up to 20MW incorporating 250-metre+ rotors.

Majority

A clear majority of the installation vessels still in service across European waters were built during 2008 – 2009, said Hofman. GustoMSC developed a substantial share of these semi-standardized vessels, typically 39 – 40m wide and 130 – 140 metres long, 60 – 90-person crew, and 800 – 1,000 tonne cranes. Main specifications were developed for 7 – 8 nacelles and blades of that time popular 3.6MW Siemens workhorse turbines. He added: “An unexpected constraint that emerged already during the development stage was that more powerful 6MW successor turbines came into focus. These were also larger and heavier, reducing the maximum number of stowed units to generally five or six. When this specific vessel generation entered the market, they were initially over dimensioned and therefore slightly more expensive to operate compared to older-generation smaller jack-up’s.”

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