Owners and operators are increasingly investing in new technologies and equipment as the offshore wind vessel transfer market continues to evolve. The industry has faced the particular challenge of increasing vessel speed and maneuverability, whilst maintaining a smooth ride for onboard technicians to combat seasickness. The new MTS vessel, named the ‘Sea Slice’, incorporates a specialist SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) design which consists of four small low-drag hulls placed in two linear pairs. This reduces the hydrodynamic drag of the vessel as it moves through the water, enabling it to travel at higher speeds for a given amount of engine power while also reducing the effects of vessel motion on crew and offshore personnel.
The Sea Slice vessel was originally designed by aerospace defence business Lockheed Martin and built in 1996 at a cost of $15 million. It was subsequently sold last year to its new owner for deployment in the European offshore wind sector. Having been shipped to Europe from the USA earlier this year, the Sea Slice was towed from Rotterdam in the Netherlands to Esbjerg in Denmark by MTS Indus – a Dutch-built 25-metre multi-purpose tug - over a two-and-a-half day period in early October. The entire logistical set-up was organized by GRS Global Renewables Shipbrokers. Once deployed to a European offshore wind farm, Sea Slice will be used for a variety of tasks including dive operations, surveying and crew and equipment transfer.
“European offshore wind continues to be a competitive market place, with a huge potential for innovation” said Jon Parslow, Managing Director, MTS Group Ltd. “Delivering the Sea Slice in time for the next phase of European wind development, is another example of how we’re continuing to support this maturing industry. We look forward to supporting Advanced Offshore Solutions with their towage requirements in future.”
Kurt Thomsen, Managing Director, Advanced Offshore Solutions, added that the company has been pioneering different technologies for the offshore wind industry for almost two decades, and the Sea Slice is the latest example of this type of investment.
Marine and Towage Services (MTS Group Ltd.) provides a wide range of marine services from towage, tugs and civil engineering support to pilotage and shipping agency and has worked in markets including dredging and offshore renewables. The company operates from its UK offices in Brixham, Devon, and Falmouth in Cornwall from where it provides high-quality services to the marine and civil industry across the globe, including South America, Australia and West Africa as well as the UK and Europe.