Propulsion fit for the future

Supporting efficient offshore wind construction with custom propulsion

A vessel dedicated to the construction of offshore wind farms has unique requirements. Working at sea almost all of the time, the focus is less about transportation and more on operating in DP. When Acta Marine developed its new Construction Service Operations Vessel (CSOV), the company knew that Veth Propulsion was a strong candidate for support in optimizing the DP system, says Simon Anink, General Manager Commerce at Acta

“We’ve worked with Veth Propulsion before. As well as the customised propulsion Veth supplied to our workboats, the company also delivered the thrusters to the Acta Orion. During that project we enjoyed an open minded approach and collaboration and really appreciated how it turned out.

“The equipment is reliable and efficient and the vessel continues to perform well. Therefore, it was a very natural decision to also approach Veth when we decided to build a new vessel type, dedicated to the construction market.”

The next generation in offshore wind construction
The CSOV has been designed by Ulstein Design & Solutions exclusively for Acta Marine. There are currently two of these 89 x 19 metre vessels under construction at the Tersan Shipyard in Turkey. 

The vessel features an innovative hull type, the SX-216 TWIN-X Stern, that has the same profile fore and aft – an ideal arrangement for a vessel whose primary task is moving between wind turbines. With this symmetrical set-up, the vessel can take advantage of an equally symmetrical propulsion arrangement.

Increasing manoeuvrability & uptime
Veth is supplying each vessel with four azimuthing thrusters, type VL-1550, two fore and two aft. The thrusters have a propeller diameter of 2.4 metres. With no angular limits imposed, the 360-degree thrusters are able to offer 100% of their 1,500kW power in all directions.

A class act in services
Not only does this considerably increase manoeuvrability, but it also allows the vessel to operate in harsher conditions than would be possible with a conventional arrangement, fulfilling one of Veth’s main goals in ensuring its clients maximal uptime.

This aim is reflected in the company’s service offering as well as in the design of its products. It is, says Simon, another reason that his company chose to award the CSOV propulsion contract to Veth.

“Thrusters are crucial equipment for us. If something goes wrong and these vessels are idle for a day, that’s really something to consider. It’s going to cost us a lot of money. Veth keeps a large supply of competitively priced spare parts in stock and has people on the spot when you need them.

“Veth is flexible when it comes to services. When you have a company that has its act together like this, it’s a great comfort.”

Tailored solutions
A further factor in the decision to enlist Veth for the project is the company’s philosophy of tailoring its products to the requirements of each client and each vessel. Veth believes that the propulsion should be designed to suit the hull, not the other way around. Acta Marine has already experienced the benefits of this first-hand with the Acta Orion.

“The thrusters on the Acta Orion have been optimised for the DP system. As a result, the power of the propulsion is high, but the vessel continues to deliver low fuel consumption and, therefore, emissions. This gave us confidence in Veth when it came to constructing the CSOVs. With these we have the opportunity to build the vessels we need for the future and for that, we are aiming to operate with even lower emissions.”

Contributing to sustainability
The CSOVs have been designed to sail with a dual methanol MDL/HVO fuel combination that offers a reduced carbon footprint and paves the way for even further improvements in efficiency in the future.

“The aim with these vessels is to construct the means to provide clean, renewable energy. For both us and our clients, it’s crucial that this is done in as sustainable a manner as possible. In optimising the thrusters, Veth is making a significant contribution to this.”

Spirit of cooperation
Naturally, with efficient fuel consumption, combined with the increased uptime the thrusters provide, operational expenditure is also reduced. 

“We are a growing company,” explains Simon. “And as such, we are looking to tomorrow. We don’t just consider the initial capital outlay; we also try to factor in the operational expenditure over the lifecycle of the vessel. “For us, it’s great that we have suppliers that can support us in this goal. Veth understands our requirements and works with us towards achieving them. We place a lot of value on this spirit of cooperation.”

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