Seacat Rainbow heads straight to work
Seacat Services’ newly launched catamaran, Seacat Rainbow, has gone straight on to a long-term charter with Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL).
Seacat Rainbow will support operations & maintenance activity for the service team working at the 588 MW Beatrice wind farm offshore Scotland, joining her sister vessel Seacat Weatherly which is currently on charter with the Siemens Gamesa.
Seacat Rainbow and Seacat Weatherly are the first Chartwell 24 catamarans to enter operational service and are the product of long-term supply chain collaboration seeking to refine the formula for offshore wind vessel support, Seacat Services said.
As offshore wind projects move further out to sea, more testing conditions have led to site operators, original equipment manufacturers and contractors favouring vessels which can provide greater safety and passenger comfort. Seacat Rainbow offers step free access, enhanced safety features and greater stability – without compromising on technical availability or fuel efficiency, the operator said.
The greater reliability provided by these attributes is of particular value at project Beatrice – which is located 13 kilometres off the Caithness coast in the deep waters Northeast of Scotland, enabling Seacat Rainbow to capitalise on available weather windows amid high winds and large swells.
Seacat Rainbow’s size and enlarged foredeck also provides the space needed to allow for greater numbers of passengers and crew to socially distance in-line with COVID guidance, enabling operational efficiency to be upheld whilst maintaining health and safety standards.
”Demand for high-performance, high-efficiency offshore energy support vessels is rising across the sector, and Seacat Rainbow’s immediate charter highlights the strength of our commitment to vessel innovation and cross-industry collaboration,” Ian Baylis, Managing Director at Seacat, said.
”Seacat Rainbow is designed to capitalise on the core attributes that Seacat is built on, including best-in-class safety, availability and ultimately ‘time-on-turbine’ for technicians, enabling her to go above and beyond our customers’ expectations.”
The Beatrice offshore wind farm comprises 84 Siemens 7 MW direct drive wind turbines which have been officially commissioned in 2019.
The wind farm is owned by SSE plc (40 per cent), Red Rock Power Limited (25 per cent), The Renewables Infrastructure Group (17.5 per cent), and the funds managed by Equitix Investment Management Limited (17.5 per cent).
As the majority shareholder, SSE Renewables led the construction process and is managing O&M from its base in Wick.
Martin Sutherland, Operations Manager, Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd, said: ”Having worked with Seacat Services extensively we are well aware of the high standards of service the team brings, and their ability to respond to demanding work scopes in challenging conditions. We’re excited to bring one of the first of the ‘next-generation’ Chartwell 24 vessels onto the project, having seen first-hand the performance of Rainbow’s sister vessel Weatherly at the site.”